Thursday, September 17


My Italian colleague slowly approached me at the coffee machine. Last week he had been talking about slow food, a conversation which nearly inspired me to sign up for a cooking class. When he talks to me I suffer from my own likes and dislikes, which is why I’m sort of glad I will be leaving soon. ‘Margot,’ he says. He pronounces my name like it’s his favourite dessert.
I resist the urge to touch his skin, his face, his mouth. I take a coffee cup, look into those big brown eyes and whisper: ‘Yes?’
‘Did you know that Berlusconi and Barroso recently had a clash?’ I make a movement with my head which could mean anything, hope, despair, or something in between.
Berlusconi seems to be our favourite enemy, the scandal which surrounds him never stops. I listen to his talk about Veronica Lario, about the journalists of La Repubblica who will be brought to court, about the injustice covered with a sauce of sex. Only in Italy could a true drama like this exist. And even though I don’t know anything about the hidden plans of Berlusconi it all sounds very dark and interesting. I fill my coffee cup and think about the things which make life bearable: slow food, slow talk, slow sex.

Wednesday, September 16


When I told my boss I would be leaving all she did was smile. I didn’t expect her to cry but I also didn’t expect her to be that... radiant. And just when I’ve decided to quit my job I’ve almost fallen in love. Yes, he is Italian, and yes of course he is engaged. Even though I haven’t met his girlfriend I assume she’s gorgeous and no doubt she’s also very smart.
Having a mild crush on my new Italian a colleague makes going to the office so much easier. I take half an hour to prepare my make-up, I wear stylish new clothes that make me look slim, I brush my hair until it shines. Then one day, while I was helping him with the translation of a text, somebody from the office remarked: ‘Margot, you’re falling for his accent aren’t you!’
I was too embarresed to reply. The Italian replied: ‘ it’s not just the accent!’ So I decided it will take some drastic measures to eliminate this crush. Only when surrounded by handsome young men will I feel more confident and more at ease. Which is why I’m going back to Italy next week.

Monday, September 7


Sometimes I’m afraid I will mix up some important sentences. That I will say: ‘I have loved you forever and ever’ to the butcher and ‘two steaks please’ to my ex-boyfriend. That I will start a monologue about the misery of work at the bakery and ask my colleagues for two rolls. Anyway, I’m contemplating whether I should quit my job and what to do afterwards. There are so many possibilities in life. I’m looking forward to experiencing more freedom, meeting new people and maybe getting a degree somewhere. Life at the office has left me feeling rather miserable and drained. I cannot believe people chain themselves to a desk for forty-five years, work in silence and then claim they have a life. And I cannot wait to tell them what I’m really thinking, the real, uncensored truth.