Loved this experiment, especially the “collage” format, willfully bucking against the prevailing podcast trend of longform storytelling and so much better-suited to my attention span in the environments in which I am usually listening to podcasts (in the subway, walking down a busy street, etc.).

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Like a great postcard, this takes me there.

There being, the inside of my friend’s mind.

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Apr 25, 2023Liked by Thom Wong

I came for the Thom. I stayed for the memories of Florence. Riding a merry go round in the town centre at night with my love. Visiting hospitals to attend to my son’s broken toe. A whole life was lived in Florence in just a few days.

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I went to the Uffizi in October 2020, the same week before they started COVID curfews and zonings. I bought the ticket and went in after 30 seconds (I do agree on the maze-like experience and the underwhelmingness of it all). I saw a lot of places (Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza) that are usually unbearably crowded it a unique, desolate circumstance.

As an Italian, it's always funny to hear a foreigner say that a place looks "as it should": locals would certainly rave non-stop about how nothing in those places looks at is should anymore (I had that feeling in San Gimignano and Pienza, not so much in Siena or Florence — but what do I know, I live in Milan which is Italy's equivalent of London as you described).

It makes me wonder if the tourist experience for foreigners has been designed to make you think what to expect, the "as it should" experience, but only up to a point (the underwhelming Uffizi experience is very, very Italian).

Eating cannoli is way better than eating babies (not a political statement of any kind).

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I haven't been to Florence yet, but this was transportative. Your mic technique is perfect, your soundscapes are well-matched and add to your stories rather than distract from them, the writing is light, gentle and engaging but with an edge of melancholy that stops it from tipping into saccharine. Gorgeous.

If I had to pick nits, as so requested, I'd say the transition just before the 3 minute mark was a touch hard-edged; it could have done with softening slightly. And there are one or two points where your (otherwise faultless) delivery made it was slightly obvious you were reading a script you wrote, rather than just sharing a memory. Seriously, though, they're the smallest of things on something that is beautiful and nostalgic. I had to dig pretty deep for those tiny potatoes, so I hope they're helpful.

As ever, I seethe with envy at your apparently limitless talent. Can't wait for the next episode so I can hate you more.


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