For many people, especially foreigners, Italy means sun and sea, beaches, pasta, great food, art and passion. Every single time in my expat life so far, I met people who enthusiastically told me how lucky I was to come from such a place, when there’s sun all day, it’s so warm and ‘oh my god the men are just…’. And all I could think of was the fog, sometimes very thick, that basically insulates us from the world from October to March. It’s fate that I felt at home in Yorkshire few years back. Yorkshire Moors have always reminded me of home.

See, I grew up in Northern Italy, in the beautiful Piedmont, that, as the word says, it’s a region literally ‘at the foot of the mountains’. We don’t have the sea here, but we have some beautiful, beautiful lakes; yes, we have the sun and the temperature in July can reach +35°C without much effort. But we also have the fog and the rain and the snow. And it’s amazing.

For example, today I woke up and it was a bit cooler than the previous days: I was looking out of the kitchen window at the fields of arid scrubs (we haven’t seen rain for a month at least) and I felt the wind changed. I’m not sure how to describe it, but I can sense the seasons changing. The light is different, the smell is different. The foods I want to eat change. It’s time to think of what clothes I have for the colder seasons and if I need to buy more. I need in fact to buy a few comfy clothes to snuggle on the sofa for the days I don’t feel like going out.

Yet, in these days of transition betweet the two seasons, sometimes I can’t stop thinking about summery things, clothes, foods and activities, as I was stuck in a bittersweet dimension. Me being this impasto of different cultures from places I lived in, it’s in those times that I think I’ve embraced Japanese culture more than I thought. It’s the なつかしい feelings I have had here today, the same I experienced walking in the woods in Darmstadt, strolling around Harrogate or watching the lights in Tokyo slowly switching on at sunset. I’m sure you sometimes feel it too.

I honestly want to feel like this more, and enjoy these feelings I get from the little things. Taking breaks from the speed of life by just looking around myself, watching the world live.