Hong Kong: The Playground

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Sometimes I have to think, or have to stop thinking. My head produces thoughts, scenarios, images, stories. My head is pretty much a multiplex. So I choose a place, which becomes my place where I go to think, or stop thinking. I calm down, I mentally write speeches, seek solutions to problems, I put in order my mind, take decisions, sit down. Or just breathe. Enjoy the internal silence.

As a kid I went to my parents camp on the lake, a camper village amidst the greenery. I crossed the net and climbed over the hill above the baths. I knew I could find a better, cleaner and not smelling place. But places, like people and moments you can’t choose them, they come this way and you keep them. From above I saw the lake, the furnace, the hills, the sunset, the lightning during a thunderstorm, the rainbow afterwards. I stayed there as long as the mosquitoes did not slaughter my legs, until the rain bore my bones, until my head was emptied, the feelings calmed down.

In Alessandria, I walked back and forth in Via Roma, the pedestrian street in the City center, usually full of people. It is not true that you need a silent and empty place to think … indeed. The lights in shop windows, the pungent and damp winter cold, the smell of the roasted chestnuts, the strange faces, the local accent all relaxing things for me.

At Aiello, I walked up to the Miceu Mill, picked berries, ran with Argo, caressed him, jumped the puddles, breathed in the smell of fields and fertilizer. Then he slid happy into the middle of the flower meadow dangling out his tongue and I was calm again.

In Shanghai, I went around the city with an electric scooter risking my life at every corner. It would be that I was concentrating on the road, but I was calming myself in a lash of eyelashes.

Here in Hong Kong, I go to Wan Chai Playground. Like today. It is raining. I sit on the wet bench and fix my feet. I have horrible flats, I would like to have Air Jordans. I would like to have healthy knees. I would like to go in the midst of those sixteen-year-old boys who are playing in the rain and show them how to do it. Before having all the places listed above, I had basketball. I had the field, the workouts, the sweat, the dressing room, the adrenaline, and it was enough for everything.

The ball rolls over to me, a Chinese kid drowned in rain and sweat looks at me. I collect it with my left hand and with a perfect whip I send the ball fast like a bomb to his chest. He looks shocked.

“Hey buddy, a playmaker who deserve respects must know how to use the left hand.”

 He stares at me for a moment, stunned. Maybe he thinks:

 “Look at this lady, she crushed my chest, she is Michael Jordan’s sis.”

Or maybe:

“Look at this lady, she think she is 20, go home old woman.”

I’ll never know, but at the end he smiles at me. When you love this game, you will love it forever. I know, he knows.

What a relaxing place the playground. This is MY place.




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