Terra Madre (finally) ended. I say finally because while the meeting has been very useful, the organization has been so poor that I'm still expecting some last minute screw up. There has been something wrong with the logistics every single day. I will one day tell the story of the devout shi'a farmer who was brought at 2 AM, straight from South Lebanon, to his room in the Basilica of Superga, superba indeed, but isolated on a hilltop. He stayed there alone (there was not even any staff) in the huge church-convent, in a room you can only access after going through long, dark corridors, and passing all the paintings representing the torture of Christ. And that's not even half of the story.
And yesterday I had to wait, along with a hundred people, till past midnight in the car park because the busses for the hotels (way out of Turin) had not come. It was cold. But to their cradit, all the Slow Food staff, including those in the upper management, waited in the car park until everyone left.
But it was important to bring 25 people, many of whom had never left Lebanon, and who could not speak any language, to see TM and the Salone del Gusto. There must have been 100,000's people everyday, and 1000's of people exposing their products. A young chef among us was walking wide-eyed the first 2 days, saying: I cannot believe it, it's like in the movies. Many among the producers also got new ideas. Usually only the rich make it to the trade shows: this gives an opportunity to the poorer.
I leave for Berlin is a few hours. But will the taxi come? That is the question.