I'm thinking I need to dedicate this blog to my Italian teacher, Francesca, who works with me tirelessly every week.
One year ago, I had a conversation on the beach at Lido with the woman I have nicknamed La Contessa. Looking back on that conversation I am mighty embarrassed, because my ability to get a decent conversation out of my mouth was nearly non-existent. I was talking Italian baby talk!
Flash forward to this morning.
My morning ritual on days when I get to the beach is to set up my chair, spend a few hours enjoying the sun and surf relaxing, then pack up to head home. On my way off the beach I stop for a coffee at the bar at our beach.
Today, I reversed my routine, stopping first for that coffee. I carried my cup to my usual table and discovered La Contessa and a group of friends were also having coffee at the next table. I hadn't been there in a few weeks due to a nasty cold, so hadn't seen La Contessa since the last visit. She introduced me to her friends, and we proceeded to get into a lively conversation about a variety of topics.
Just thinking about the range of topics has me laughing still now, hours after having come back from the beach. La Contessa had recently read a book in Italian called A Brief History of America, or something like that, in which she learned about the settlement at Jamestown, and the war of 1812, and the Civil War. She commented that of all the American presidents, she likes Lincoln. So we talked about Lincoln. And Jamestown. Jamestown, of all things!
The Lido coffee bunch had an assortment of questions for me. Tops on the list, of course, were all things Trump. Seems I can not avoid that topic anywhere these days, although I would love to. I got asked about food in New Orleans, the weather in Seattle, and the mafia in New Jersey. Cracks me up.
But what amazes me even more than the choice of topics is that I am holding my own in these conversations this year. Not bumbling, but actually getting information shared, thoughts conveyed, opinions expressed.
Language-wise, it's a whole different year. Karen is happy.
So, thanks Francesca, for tolerating me, pushing me, encouraging me and never giving up on me.