Here we go, paraphrasing a Turbonegro’s song, talking about my mutation from free thinking globetrotter to daily grind slave. But Superpizza, well, always going with Turbonegro’s song, “you’ve got nothing to lose”. It’s important for me to talk about my workplace, first of all because it’s probably one of the best Italian restaurants in Darwin, and second because at the moment it’s a big part of my life. Well, I can almost say it’s all of my current life, honestly, for I work there every day and have been doing so since June 10th.
I’m rolling pizza bases from the dough: my job consists in showing up around 4 pm, rolling dough balls for an hour and fill up the drawers, then start rolling bases and keep on rolling up to 10 pm to match all the orders, and damn most of the nights the place is busy. Joao, the Portuguese pizza maker, stands at my right all the time dispensing some real life changing lines like “I’d like to fuck two eighty years old women, because they are easy, you don’t have to work them out too much and they piss their pants while you go down on them” in perfect Italian language learned over the years working with wogs in Australia. And that’s just plain hilarious to me, making me almost roll on the floor when I should be rolling dough balls down to perfect circular shapes, baby, small, medium, large or extra large pizzas.
Nanda is the owner of the restaurant, and she’s such a nice woman. She can tell you many stories about her life in South Africa and about having survived cyclone Tracy in Darwin in 1974, the one that left nothing and nobody standing. She comes from Tivoli, near Roma, and this is the sound of the Italian language you’d hear inside of Superpizza all the time, like I was in a roman borgata instead of Darwin’s beautiful Fannie Bay’s crests. A picture of Tivoli’s fountain crowns this very same attitude, hanging on the right hand side, as soon as you step inside of the restaurant. And it’s beautiful how for one time Italian becomes a secret code in which we can scream, swear, have fun and sometimes also address to some of the customers in very colorful ways… well sorry about that. It’s a matter of privilege because none of the waitresses, all aussie girls, can understand a bloody heck of what’s going on, so the sheer fact I am Italian puts me in a different dimension, and jokes come out so natural and nasty they’re hard to contain at times. It’s a place where “porcoddio” flies out like “ciaos” in an Italian alleyway, so you get the idea. Its rough fun and we like it, but of course, there’s the work routine as well.
It took me a few weeks to get used to the job, for my arms were not in the best shape, and keep on rolling just hurt my right wrist so bad I had to take a few days off in the beginning, just to recover. Eh, I’ve been made for intellectual stuff, my friends, ahahahah…. but since then, I almost never left the corner from which I can have a panoramic view of the street on Fannie Bay Place. And it’s amazing because me and Joao are working in front of the shop window, we are there for people to see us hand making the food and get intrigued by it, to come in and eat dinner. It’s fun to be able to see people observing you. Sometimes I can just lift my eyes from the greyish dough I’m splattering down to a circular shape before I throw it in the metal plates for the oven and seeing a funny face cheering at me, maybe some old woman who’s just curious, or a couple Asian girls that when I look back just start smiling and laughing, or just the totally alcohol shattered black and red mug of some aboriginal folk who waves at me and then puts a hand in front of his mouth, begging for some free food. That most of the times comes in form of mistaken orders or burnt pizzas.
It’s just nice to be able to observe Darwin from the inside, and be a silent spectator of the people’s movements. I can now recognize many of them returning customers, each one with its own peculiar trait, and we are the team serving them those steamy hot pizzas from the oven, freshly made and freshly cut, and that’s just the way it has to be. I am part of a machine producing dreams for those people, we produce boxed happiness to be consumed at home out of a cardboard box, or in a steamy hot plate in the vivaciously decorated room. Because I’m sorry to say, there’s not that much else to do in Darwin, besides eating and drinking. And I feel like although this is not my favorite kind of job and I sometimes feel like I’m trapped under that grey dough against white desk, the Turbonegro song comes back to mind and I start thinking “have you ever had a pepperoni? Well not like this! And have you ever had a calzoni? Well not like this! Because there’s nothing to lose at …Superpizza”. I’ll leave Pamparius for Oslo, and take care of my Australian dough for another five weeks. Then, it’s going to hopefully be the Age of Monkey Motherfucker.