24 June, 2007

The House of Savoy


This week, Italy. Turin, to be precise - home to the Shroud of Turin (alleged to have wrapped Christ's dead body), The Italian Job (seminal 1960s English film), and me - for the next five days.

So, let's break out the conference survival kit once more. Travelling Europe is getting deceptively easy - the new regulations mean that getting from England to Italy is just a matter of quickly showing someone a passport as you walk past. This has its down-sides: it's not until I'm sitting in the back of a taxi trying to communicate with someone that speaks no English that I realise... I really am in another country.

At times like this, I also realise that the only Italian I know comes from the libretti of opera. This is handy if you need to swear your undying resolve to avenge your wronged father for the capture of his kingdom, but not so useful if you need to direct a taxi driver to a hotel in the city centre.

13 comments:

Brent said...

Wouldn't it be frustrating if someone *did* wrong your father and capture his kingdom, but didn't speak Italian?

Hobbes said...

No kidding! That happened just last week! I had to resort to rude gestures.


Ciao,

Hobbes

MarshalN said...

You forgot the part about wooing pretty ladies whom you've just met two hours ago but have already fallen madly in love with.

But I'm sure the omission has a reason :p

Hobbes said...

Heh...

On an unrelated note, I've finished up the sample of the 2003 (?) Bulang which you kindly provided, and realise that I immensely overbrewed the original. I've got some updated notes that I'll pop up here sometime - it was a pleasant one. You mentioned that it was a potential buy for you - it seems like a sensible one, if the price is decent!

Italian conferences... they serve champagne at lunch. It's very civilised - all we get back home is orange juice. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

MarshalN said...

Obviously you engineers have nice conferences. Us historians don't even get orange juice. I think it's a sign that our jobs don't pay anything.

I think overbrewing was a common problem for the Bulang. I really should've provided guidance on that one.....

~ Phyll said...

Champagnes instead of Prosecco? :)

Hobbes said...

Hah, always the wino!

In reality, it was neither "champagne" nor "prosecco", formally speaking, but some fizzy Brut from Lord-knows-where. The element of surprise was on their side, though!

Before the formal dinner, I spent a good hour scouring the Turin Chinatown. You know how bad my putonghua is, but it's a comment on the level of my attainment in Italian that the Chinese shopkeepers and I could communicate more effectively in their mother language. I was, of course, shopping for tea - more tomorrow on the results.

(Primarily because I haven't yet had the time to brew the resultant purchases!)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

davelcorp said...

How about cheese? Any Pecorino Foglie di Noce? Or just some squishy brute from Lord-knows-where?

Hobbes said...

Dr. Dave, you are speaking my language. Specifically, you and Mrs. Dave are speaking my language. Apart from the delicious local parmigiano reggiano, there was one which could have been pecorino foglie di noce - it was similar in all regards - but I don't know if you can get it this far north. Tasty nonetheless. :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes

~ Phyll said...

Cheeseheads! (said with a lot of respect for youse kind). I have a long road ahead before knowing my cheeses.

Hobbes said...

You could always ask Mrs. Dave to smuggle you in some FDA-illegal unpasteurised cheese from Europe!

Steven Dodd said...

Be sure to rent a Mini Cooper and drive through the sewers and construction for me. Tell me about it when you do. Much appreciated :]

Hobbes said...

I keep seeing Italian people driving Minis here, and they don't seem to appreciate the irony... :)


Toodlepip,

Hobbes