Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Buon giorno!

I started taking Italian language classes at the Foreign Service Institute this week. We’re in class more than five hours a day, with another hour or two of individual study. It’s pretty challenging, but also fun (so far, anyway). I’ll get two months of classes in before we move to Rome. By then I’m sure I’ll be fluent. Or at least able to order dinner. …

On the Fourth of July, Allyson and I, for reasons unknown, thought it would be a good idea to check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall. We realized it was, in fact, a very bad idea almost the minute we boarded the subway, which was packed tighter than something packed very tightly. When we got to the Mall, it was so crowded that, after, oh, two minutes, we (based on my most strenuous suggestion) decided to go back home. We tried again on Sunday. It was much less crowded and, of course, much more pleasant. …

I don’t know what happened, because I used to love big crowds. In fact, on consecutive Fourths of July – in 1987 and 1988 – I attended Grateful Dead concerts in, respectively, Buffalo and Foxboro, each of which was attended by at least 75,000 people. Being part of a vast audience was invigorating to me back then. Now I just hate it. …

On that misanthropic note…

Ciao!

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