Hey Canada and Friends,

Just want to send out a Happy Hallowe’en message, I hope all had fun in the pumpkin patch last night.Here the festivities were a little subdued, though I managed to partake in a little costume watching at an Irish pub here in town. The highlight of the night may have been the scooter trip to the farside of Porta Maggiore for a delicious custom-made turkey burger from the gourmet no-frills van. The wrong side of the tracks yes, but tasting so right…

In other good news, Chiara is defending her thesis and then graduating next week, and we’re all pretty happy to be clearing the thesis and the attendant stress off the radar. She’s already started a job at SKY TV working in the archives. In a not unrelated development we may soon be getting satellite TV, at which point I will in all likelihood become a frequent nocturnal hockey watcher, daylight be damned.

Last week I began teaching English once a week as the madre lingua inglese substitute in an Italian high school. Kids are the same all over, only just a little more rambunctious and noisy here in Italy. It’s not too bad. It’s also imoprtant I think to have a native English speaker converse with the kids; i’m not saying their regular teachers speak poor English, but let’s just say they don’t exactly light up the classroom with clear, error-free English. On the other hand, their knowledge of grammar rules far outstrips mine. Anyway, I get to go once a week and speak slowly about hockey, music, and video games and I’m not complaining. And if I do, I do it sloooowly.

The other upshot is that I get to practice a little Italian with the kids. It helps to not just sheepishly order a coffee with a hopeful smile on my face. In the class I get to shout “Silenzio!” or “Basta!” in a commanding voice. Sometimes they quiet down, but regardless it bolsters my confidence with the language.

The tour guiding is slowing down so it’s nice to have some other things to keep me busy.

In other news I’m starting to sniff around in the mid-distant future at some grad school ideas. Something in Sustainable Urban Design Management… or at least a program that has one of those words in the title. Probably. Just preliminary sniffing, mind, but sniffing.

So that’s it really. The novelty of this place has long since worn off, but the familiarity of the routines and patterns is comforting. It’s a big big city, but I’m making my way.

Ciao a tutti

Ryan Fonzarelli