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The other day I was on a train with my girls, chatting in Italian, playing games like “I spy with my little eye something beginning with…” and I noticed the guy in sitting in front of us stopped reading the newspaper (strangely enough he wasn’t reading from an iPad or using a smart phone) and started listening to us. At first I thought we were a bit noisy and I tried to turn our volume down; then I noticed he was smiling when we said something funny and I started thinking he was probably understanding what we were saying. After a little while he looked at me and said he was pleased he could still remember some Italian he learnt a school a few years ago. We had some small talk and just before he left the train he suggested me a book called “They’re a weird mob” adding “you might like it”.

I was positively surprised by this unexpected meeting and once at home I searched the web to find info about the book this stranger suggested me. I found out that it’s from the ’50 by an Australian author who pretended to be Italian and published his book under an Italian pseudonym; it was a big hit at the time, loved both by Australian and Italian immigrants.

I went to the library and found a copy. Now I can’t wait to have 5 minutes peace without kids around to start reading it.

they're a weird mob