Notes from an Italian hermitage – despatches from BOLOGNA #3
The Year of the Revolutionary New Bread-making Machine
It’s bustling 1960s Beirut, and our young protagonist spends his days in his father and uncle’s bakery, admiring the female customers, observing the many colourful characters, and listening in on fascinating grown-up conversations about everything from jaundice to the occult. The rest of the time he’s off with his friends, learning to smoke and spying on women.
For the men in the bakery life is starkly different. Working endless shifts in the furious heat of the old bread oven, they fantasize about escape. Mohammed sings all day long in his beautiful tenor voice, while others lean exhausted on sacks of flour and dream of becoming wrestlers.
When his father acquires the revolutionary new bread-making machine, the workers struggle to adapt to the changed conditions, and one by one their dreams fade into oblivion…
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