Enrico Maso, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
Chapter 1 – The Seeds of Doubt
Milan, on a fine summer’s day. It’s still early but already very hot. Gianni, who is fifty years old, is standing at the window with a cup of coffee in his hand. He sighs.
A noise behind him stirs him out of his daydream. Nebo, his dog, has come into the kitchen. He’s a hunting dog, with a black coat which is beginning to show signs of grey.
The dog looks at him hopefully. He’s carrying his leash between his teeth.
“Don’t even think of it,” Gianni tells him, “You know dogs aren’t allowed at Expo. It must be the tenth time I’ve told you.”
Nebo, disappointed, stretches himself out on the floor while Gianni collects the tools of his trade: notebook, pen – that’s all that’s necessary for a good article. As well as being a journalist, Gianni is also a well-known gastronome, so his paper often sends him to Expo to cover the show.
“Don’t look at me with those sad eyes,” says Gianni, leaning down to stroke Nebo. “You really are a useless dog,” he laughs, and turns to leave.
After queuing for a while, Gianni gets into Expo where he finds himself in the middle of a crowd.
There are people moving this way and that, children running everywhere, and signs everywhere with the cliché’ “feed the planet”. Gianni doesn’t really know what that means.
“Is it just another fashion?” he wonders. He has learned, in the course of his work, that people say one thing but in reality do the opposite, like the people who talk about slowfood while devouring a hamburger.
Whilst preparing his article in the restaurant of one of the exhibitions, Gianni decides that at the next editorial meeting he will propose a thorough journalistic investigation into the slowfood movement. He has already decided that the title should be: “Slowfood: movement or passing fad?”