Tuesday, 30 April 2019

More fires. Interesting TV.

Grandma’s cafe remained empty this morning. Usually on Tuesdays, when my daughter doesn’t work, she drops her teenagers at school early and comes for breakfast with the smallest grandchild. Today I was getting organised when a message came through. There was a small industrial complex on fire not far from our house. The teenagers’ school, quite a few miles away but apparently in line with the way the smoke was drifting, was closed because all their smoke alarms were going crazy and they could not allow pupils in a smoke-infested building. Also the road was probably closed. She hoped we were not suffering from smoke!

I took a look outside: blue sky, sunshine, not a hint of smoke on the air! After some searching, I finally found a report online about it. A fire was reported at something like 3.15 am. Ten houses nearby had been evacuated. Three hours later they reckoned it was under control. The road was closed. Judging by the lack of smoke or smell, it would seem to be all over bar the clearing up. So far I have resisted the temptation to walk down the toad and see for myself. I just hope buses are running through our village later today.

So my daughter has her day off with all her children, except for the grown-up, independent working girl eldest child. The teenagers are quite pleased to have a bonus day off school. The smallest wants everyone, including her 14 year old brother, to be princesses. I think she is on a loser there!

There have been altogether too many fires around here lately! We are not doing much for the environment!

On the recommendation of a friend from the Italian class, we have been watching an Italian detective series on Netflix: Carlo and Malik, called Nero a Metà in Italian. Set in Rome, it is one of those series where there is a case to solve in each episode but with a developing back story concerning the main characters. Very nicely done.

Carlo is a middle-aged Italian Italian. Malik is a younger detective, black Italian, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast rescued from the sea as a small child (we discover in about episode 3) and adopted by a white woman. They have a difficult working relationship, to say the least.

 In between times it deals with topical problems like young people, especially girls, sucked into stupid and dangerous challenges via the internet, marriages (and quick divorces) arranged to give people Italian citizenship, illegal testing of medical drugs and a whole lot more.

What has struck me is the racism evident in the society portrayed in their bit of Rome. When Malik first enters the police station, it is assumed he is there to register as an immigrant, or that he is a suspect in or witness to an ongoing case. And his is the only non-white face in the police station. People questioned in cases frequently comment nastily on the fact the “even Africans can become policemen now”. Some people refuse to be interviewed by him. He is regularly referred to as “the negro”. Chinese people are treated no better on the whole. There is one scene where a policeman comments to a young man being questioned, “Do you not do things this way in China?” To which he receives the retort, “I am as Italian as you are. I was born here.”

Interesting stuff! Especially as a relationship is developing between Malik and Alba, daughter of Carlo.

I shall keep on watching.

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