Single Blog

Tomorrow I’m moving to Geneva

Tomorrow I’m moving to Geneva. As I said a while ago, my husband finally got confirmation that he’ll be working and living there for the next two years. And I with him 🙂

I practice Linguistic Empathy and I expect you to do the same. Please bear with me if my English is not perfect.

After summer, I had decided not to join him, but to stay in Milan and wait for news about his working situation. In fact, I only spent short periods in Milan. I went to Paris for a conference, to Madrid by car to accompany my son in his move there, and a couple of days in London. In those months, though, my basis was my native city. Tomorrow I am moving to Geneva, and these last days have been strange.

It has been strange to get ready to move having to say goodbye to Milan. That had already happened to me twice. Once, after hurriedly leaving Congo because of a bloody civil war, after which we had spent two years in Milan. The second time it was between Peru and Jerusalem, when, as it often happens, it took  several months before we got a new contract.

mi trasferisco a ginevraThose were other times, though. I was different, and my children were with me. The period I spent in Milan until today has had a completely different taste, and saying goodbye is different. Not only because this time I move to a place that is four hours by car away (it still feels like a dream), but also because two things happened in these months.

The first one is that my relationship with my native town, rather thorny since I left it in ’89, has changed. Milan knew I had my reservations on her. I have always considered it (and I have not completely changed my mind on this) a city that brags and pictures herself above her real possibilities. My repeated experiences with everyday life in Milan have been marked by malfunctioning, queues, difficulties and nervousness. Entanglements that I consider typically Milanese by now. I have never managed to marry the idea of Milan with that of a European, modern and functioning city.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at Milano Book City

However, up to now I had just been immersed in difficulties. The few days I spent in Milan between a period abroad and another, were full of bureaucratic procedures and administrative tasks. Having more time available while living here for a few months has allowed me to enjoy the city in a different way. I have grasped what many had been telling me for a while: cultural and artistic initiatives have multiplied in recent years, people go out, cinemas are full and music fills the streets.

What has definitely turned my relationship with Milan into a loving one has been Milano Book City, a wonderful event, which has shaken me happily and made me spend moments of pure intellectual bliss (besides substantially increasing my collection of books sighed by their authors 🙂 ).

I enjoyed those days a lot. While I moved from one event to another, under the pouring rain, I felt happy and grateful. I believe that was the real moment of change towards Milan.

The other aspect is that by “growing” (please, don’t let me say “getting older”!) my priorities have changed. Until a while ago, being away from my family did not bother me particularly. Now, spending quality time with my brothers, nephews, relatives and historical friends has become very precious. Having the time to get a bit into their lives has been a privilege, possibly the biggest one, that this period in Milan has given me.

mi trasferisco a ginevra
With my brothers

Tomorrow I’m moving to Geneva, and even though this is a different relocation from all my past ones, I feel a chapter is about to close because I won’t spend any more long periods in Milan, and every time I go back, I’ll be again running after unpleasant tasks. These months will however  always remain a beautiful memory, and I’ll forever consider them as one of the many surprises mobile life gives us.

Claudia Landini
January 2020
Photos ©ClaudiaLandini

Comments (0) © Copyright 2018-2021