A More Quiet Place

nap as if you'll live forever, snack as if you'll die today

The Most Amazing Roller Coaster Photo Ever Taken

September 1, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I think I found the picture I want on my tombstone.

tombstone

But maybe we should start from the beginning.

FLASHBACK
COUPLE DAYS AGO
SOUTH OF GERMANY

As you probably know if you follow me on Twitter, my boyfriend and I recently took a holiday in Switzerland/South of Germany/Black Forest.

We opted for the south of Germany in particular because, apart from its beautiful nature and the fact that drinking beer for breakfast is socially acceptable, there’s a big amusement park there.

For years I’ve been lamenting the fact that Berlin has no proper amusement park, telling everybody how much I loooove roller coasters and adventurous rides (in hindsight, I must have been drunk).

So, Europa Park happened. We got there in the late morning without much preliminary research and found ourselves in front of a big, badass amusement park. The number of attractions exceeded our expectations (you need at least two days if you wanna do everything) and the theme seemed pretty well developed (each area of the park is a European country and its individual attractions are based on something connected to the country).

We decided to start with Iceland because, as  you know if you’ve followed our trip, everything is calm and peaceful there.

Bad idea. Continue Reading →

How to Work at a Startup | Chapter 2: How to Write your Resume

August 1, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I wrote this originally for Uberlin

If you’ve read the previous chapter of this guide, you should have identified the startup job of your dreams and be ready to apply.

If you haven’t found it, it probably means you’re being too picky and are doomed to become a homeless person while waiting to encounter the perfect job title (“Hairstylist at a horse beauty  contest”)
hairstyle

But let’s assume you are ready to go.

Applying at an internet startup is a delicate process that you can’t afford to fuck up. Your whole career depends on this preliminary phase and in this second chapter of my guide I’ll focus on how to put together a spotless Curriculum Vitae.

STEP 1 – LAYOUT

Once upon a time the reign of CVs was ruled by an evil king called European Model. The European Model states that all the information inside a CV shall be divided into two columns and be presented in the most readable (a.k.a. boring) way possible, as if to proudly scream to the world that we all have OCD.

Then the game changed. Recruiters were getting tired of their job life after hours of going through the same, excruciatingly boring and anonymous documents and at the same time internet startups started understanding the value of differentiation and personality. Continue Reading →

Dick-Shaped Cutlery | my 7th day in Iceland

July 18, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Flying felt like cheating.

We had conceived the holiday as a road trip and I really wanted to move only by car, but in the end the time wasn’t enough. We got up early in our hostel in Akureyri (a pretty town in the north of Iceland), packed our bags and walked to the  airport. After going whale watching, riding zodiacs and almost running over sheep on the road, WALKING TO THE AIRPORT from the city center still sounds like the most monumental accomplishment. We then hopped on what was probably the smallest airplane I’ve ever stepped in and 40 minutes later we were in Reykjavík.

We picked our hostel because its name (Kex) reminded us of the German word for cookie (Keks) and clearly the universe was sending me a sign there. It turned out that not only the hostel was amazing (and hipster!), but that the whole building used to be a freakin’ cookie factory.

Like, how cool is that?
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Our room was interesting, too. One side of it resembled  an Armenian prison while the other actually had a warm, homey feeling to it. Continue Reading →

How to work at a Startup | Chapter 1: Job Postings

July 11, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I originally wrote this for the awesome Uberlin

 

My mother used to put stuff in boxes. Professionally. She did it for 30 years at the same small-sized suburban Italian company and while the boxes were sent everywhere in the world, my mom and her career weren’t exactly going places.

My dad, the only male among four siblings, had to drop out of middle school to help his father in the fields. Like many of his peers, he learned to think of work as something that is tightly related to suffering, sacrifice and blind obedience.

Whenever I tell my parents about company breakfasts, team building events and gamification, they share a very specific look that I’ve come to interpret as “Our son is lying to us. He doesn’t have a job in Berlin. He’s squatting an abandoned building and carries stolen drugs across countries in order to pay for his groceries”; only when I mention that I occasionally have fun at work the look differs and they seem relieved thinking that I’m actually rich from running an illegal prostitution ring.

But I get that look. I do. Growing up with a blue-collar mindset made me both conscious of my current luck and weirdly aware of the seemingly absurd sides of the startup life.

This series of posts  is the natural consequence of that.

 

CHAPTER 1: JOB POSTINGS

This is going to sound obvious, but in order to work at a startup you need to either found one or be hired by one. I’m going to focus on the latter ’cause I’m a slacker and I’ve made it my life goal to achieve less and less every day.

If you’re smart you’ve probably created alerts that result in receiving an email every time a desirable position is available, either through Google Alerts or through more specific job oriented platforms like Indeed.de or BerlinStartupJobs.com. What you might not know, though, is that when it comes to job titles startups can be as quirky as the side charatcer of an indie tv series.

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The chances your alert will be triggered by the keyword “customer relationship manager” are thinner, for example, than the ones for the keyword “Customer Happiness Ninja”. You know what I mean? Continue Reading →

Shall I Plan your Wedding Proposal?

June 22, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

When in 2007 a man proposed to his girlfriend through a crossword puzzle featured on the Boston Globe, I decided I’d start doing all the Italian crossword puzzles I could find in order to spot hidden messages.

In 2009 a guy popped the question through a public, static Tumblr post that anyone could see and had me screaming at the screen “YES! YES! YEEEES!”

I was at work when someone linked to me Isaac’s Live Lip-Dub Proposal and it turned out to be the world’s most serious case of “I’m not crying, I have something in my eyes”.

Now.

I would like to channel my restless creativity into something that makes people happy and designing wedding proposals seems like the perfect thing for me to do.

It doesn’t have to be tacky, loud, public or embarrassing, but we all secretly want it to be special, right?

Hit me up on Fiverr if you’re interested. I am cheap.

wedding proposal planning - my fiverr gig

I’m on FluxFM – a drinking game

May 17, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I don’t know how this happened, but on Tuesday 19. May at 10 PM I’ll be on FluxFM (like, the best Internet radio evah) to speak about my 100 Days of German Words project.

The program is called Off the record and is hosted by the lovely and talented Elizabeth Rushe and Charlie Layton.

I’d like to pretend this is not embarrassing news for a second, but life is too short to lie to ourselves.

Deep down I know that if being on the radio is anything like speaking on the phone, we may -Houston – have a problem, ’cause everybody including my mom agrees on the fact that I am a terrible phone partner.

If you decide to listen to the program (it’s a free country, who am I to stop you?) I strongly advise you buy a bottle of something to go with it and take part in the following drinking game.

 

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I generate an awkwardly long silence

DRINK ONE SHOT every time my English is bad

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I sound lost and confused

DRINK ENTIRE BOTTLE if I start crying

At least you won’t be able to see my hair.

Berlin Supermarkets: A User’s Guide

April 18, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

This was written by me and featured originally on Uberlin.co.uk

Four years after claiming independence and moving to Berlin, the supermarket still feels like the most iconic place of my adulthood and one of the most fascinating Berlin places to write about. While other bloggers document colourful night scenes and vivid cultural environments, I find myself in a complicated love triangle with Lidl and Rewe, and am now ready to disclose the dynamics of these relationships. My user guide to Berlin supermarkets will lead you through a correct, satisfying and 100% German grocery shopping experience.

Dairy CaseDairy Case by Roey Ahram, on Flickr

CHAPTER 1: “I’M A PFAND MACHINE READY TO RELOAD”

First: Enter your supermarket of choice.

Second: Head towards the Pfand machine.

Any respectable trip to a German supermarket includes a mandatory stop at the Pfand machine, which is usually located before the actual shopping area. Not stopping there would be like going to IKEA without eating meatballs.

Glance at the 75-year-old lady who just beat you to the line by one fraction of a second. Using her last remaining life force, she’s carrying seven plastic bags full of bottles and is now feeding them into the machine.

Very. Slowly.

Consider leaving the line but then change your mind: it would be a drag to go through the whole shopping process with a bag dripping a mix of Club Mate and beer (probably a real cocktail recipe somewhere in Berlin). Also, you could do with freeing up an extra three square metres in your room before your flatmate calls the crew of Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Years pass. The lady lets you know she’s done by smiling at you and saying something incomprehensible, which is probably German for “I’m a rich bitch now. So long, suckers!” Watch her pink-haired body floating away with what was probably hundreds of Euros and a smile of victory on her face.

It’s your turn now.

You only have five bottles, so this shouldn’t take long. Unfortunately for you, after the first bottle has been sucked in, the machine notifies you that the containers placed on the other side of the wall are full. “You need to press the red button”, says the Pfand-bot.

The red button is the last trace of a Germany that wants you to feel in control. Clearly, its only purpose is to give you a false sense of safety, just like the numbers on Lost. Don’t even mind the button and do the only rational thing: cry out for help.

Don’t lose hope: someone will come.

CHAPTER 2: “WE FOUND CAKE IN A HOPELESS PLACE” Continue Reading →

Call me Ishmael. I mean Fede – my sixth day in Iceland

April 6, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Husavik is situated in the north-west of Iceland and is – supposedly – the best place where to observe whales.

In order to do so, you need to embark on small boats and wear unflattering vests that make your own butt look like Moby Dick.
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Listen to an Icelandic girl repeating over  and over that “no refund will be given in case the watching cruise turns out unsuccessful”.

You need to wear a hat, hold tight and know how to to wait.
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I’m speaking about long, excited, anxious, impatient waits.

Even disappointed ones. Continue Reading →

17 romantic movie quotes that only truly resonate when addressed to pizza

March 8, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

When Harry Met Sally

New York, New Year’s Eve. Harry’s home alone and single when he realizes that the only thing he needs to be happy is pizza. The supermarkets are about to close and his dramatic, desperate run to buy frozen pizza makes for a heartbreaking declaration.

whenharry_pizza

The Hunger Games

A bunch of strangers are sent to a jungly place and the lack of pizza joints makes them rightfully homicidal.

hungergames_pizza

City of Angels

Continue Reading →