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On The Couch And On The Lam

Our Dottoré looks back on an entertaining session with a witty runaway convict.

Photo of a woman writing on a notepad


Mariateresa Fichele

- Do you have a job?

- No. I am incarcerated.

- And they let you out to come see me?

- No, I didn’t get permission.

- And you don't think that instead of going to see a psychiatrist, it would have been better to look for a lawyer, for instance?

- There’s nothing a lawyer can do for me.

- And what about me? What can I help you with?

- I am a lifer. I would just like my sentence to be commuted to something lighter.

- OK then, you would like a reduced sentence, for psychiatric reasons. And was it necessary to run away in order to get it?

- That I didn’t seek permission doesn’t mean that I escaped. In fact they are here with me.

- Outside the door?

- No. In this room.

- I don't see anyone.

- Neither do I.

- So they’re in your head?

- Now we’re making progress.

- And so my job is not to convince a jury to acquit you, but to somehow make your punishment lighter.

- Exactly. Finally, we understand each other.

- Very well. Then let’s try to work this out together. But in the meantime, there’s a formality I need to go through. I can’t exactly write Incarcerated under "Occupation," in your file.

- Actually, I would like you to highlight my sentence there.

- OK. How about “Condemned to Forced Thoughts”. How does that sound to you?

- Yes, but don't you write “Awaiting Trial”!

- I would never!

- Good. Let's proceed, then.

Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.

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food / travel

When Racism Poisons Italy's Culinary Scene

This is the case of chef Mareme Cisse, a black woman, who was called a slur after a couple found out that she was the one who would be preparing their meal.

Photo of Mareme Cisse cooking

Mareme Cisse in the kitchen of Ginger People&Food

Caterina Suffici


TURIN — Guess who's not coming to dinner. It seems like a scene from the American Deep South during the decades of segregation. But this happened in Italy, in this summer of 2023.

Two Italians, in their sixties, got up from the restaurant table and left (without saying goodbye, as the owner points out), when they declared that they didn't want to eat in a restaurant where the chef was what they called: an 'n-word.'

Racists, poor things. And ignorant, in the sense of not knowing basic facts. They don't realize that we are all made of mixtures, come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. And that food, of course, are blends of different ingredients and recipes.

The restaurant is called Ginger People&Food, and these visitors from out of town probably didn't understand that either.

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