Radju Ottu 88.8 – from Bonnevoie to Ithaca

Una piccola e sporca odissea.

After a month of painful driving down France and Italy,
I found a home in Santa Cesarea.

Then I set out towards Haifa and Jerusalem,
following St Michael’s ley line, to do something for my family.

I crossed the Ionio… but didn’t make much headway.

On my fourth day in Greece, hyperacusis took over my life.
Il-mitiku Don Pablo.
Also known as Pejxipejx.
The naughtiest cat this side of Mount Niriton. (He’s finally learning not to steal other cats’ food.)
My compass on the journey. A feline Οδυσσέας.
No ċinga-maċinga now for nearly four months. A free cat of his own anarchist republic.
He loves it when I read to him.
And I still can’t beat him at football. Atlético Don Pablo are favourites to win the Itháki Scudetto.

What happened? How did the author of the Passaport lose his freedom of movement, and find refuge, on Homer’s mountain?
A calm explanation, full of cats, mountains, and the wine-dark Ionian sea. E un po’ di Antonello Venditti, sul pianoforte. Via DJ Ottu.

Grazzi, shokran, ευχαριστώ for watching, and listening. I know it’s hard to concentrate on ‘deep’ communication nowadays.

Special thanks to Saqi Books, Atef Alshaer, Thomas Gauthier, Ibra Hanjoura, amici di Santa Cesarea, and my Itháki σόι (family or clan).

Stay safe, dear friends. Your ancestors are with you, if you have the courage to believe it.

Since I realised I have hyperacusis, and found a quiet refuge on the island of Ithaca, I have been dreaming of one day taking a sailboat – istiofóro, in Greek – to Malta. To see my family, village, close friends, and Filfla one more time. Collect my books, and return.

However, it seems even this is impossible. Professional sailors have told me that even a sailboat would be too loud for my ears. Due to the vibrations. And because you still need to use an engine when the wind changes, or dies down.

I have to accept this. Itháki does feel like a home, and grows on me every day. I need to believe the crazy illusion that this island is an ancestral home. That, 3,000 years up my οικογενειακό δέντρο (family tree), you find Telemachus, Odysseus, and Laertes. Penelope is a buż-buż-bużnanna.

I will be fine. Eventually, Malta will come and visit.
In the meantime, I am writing eight six books in one, about my own crazy little odyssey, and nóstos – homecoming.

Efharistó, Itháki. For welcoming me so readily, as if you were expecting me.
DJ Ottu. Mascot, travel buddy, and one of the narrators of Radju Ottu 88.8. Rescued from a kitsch souvenir shop outside my village in June 2019.

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