Of Airports and other purgatories

With the end of the year drawing closer and closer, so does the possibility that I’ll have to be in a plane again.

Like many other people who hate flying and who enjoy grounded life, planes are obviously my least favourite places in the whole wide world. Airports and government buildings in South America are a very (very!) close second.

Airports, I feel, have become the place where good manners and elegance have gone to die. Where else can you expect to see people growing impatient, angry, anxious, before abandoning all resemblance of common decency and beginning to engage in line-cutting, foot-stomping and sometimes screaming? And all of this happens even before they ask you to take off your shoes at the security check – by which point, particularly during the holiday season, we’ve come to embrace the madness. Continue reading


It was a wonderful life

Nonna & Nonno on their wedding day

Nonna & Nonno on their wedding day

It was a stuffy December day, and the sun was trying to burn through the cloudy sky.

That Friday before my baby sister’s high school graduation, my father gave The Angry Chef and me a ride to the familiar house on Rua Bastos Pereira. The air still smelled of rain – it had been raining on and off all week. Dad parked his massive silver SUV in front of the white metal gate. The gate looked strange and new; when I was a child, an orange, solid wood slide one had been there instead. I wondered what that gate must have looked like to my mother, as she probably still remembered the short metal fence that stood there before. Continue reading