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Dr John Hawkins

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Ci Sono Molti Fiori Nel Giardino

Posted on 2006/05/26 14:48:02 (May 2006).

[Thursday 25th May]
Today was the last night of Lorenzo's business trip to the Far East, and luckily he had the whole evening off, so we had a good chunk of time together.

We went to a succession of bars around Shinjuku - first off a random izakaya, then my manager's karaoke bar (which wasn't yet in "karaoke mode" as we were there a little early in the evening), and we finished off the evening in a cafe/bar place called Pronto in Shinjuku station (becoming something of a tradition now when meeting Lorenzo in Tokyo).

For the first two venues we were joined by Lorenzo's colleague, and I spent this part of the evening wowing them with my incredible ability at Italian. I proved yet again that you don't really need to have learned Italian at all to speak it, all you need is French and a simple function in your brain which modifies the end of each word as appropriate. A perfect example of this was when I wanted to talk about the atmosphere in the bar. Remembering the French word for atmosphere is ambience, I then guessed that you probably needed to pronounce the ending vowel, and maybe randomly make the c sound a bit harder. So I ended up with something like "ambienze" which turned out to be exactly correct. I pity those people who waste all that time and money on language lessons!

You know when people from the rest of Europe make us British types all embarassed, because they each seem to speak about twelve languages fluently.... Well this is why! They're all the same!

Lorenzo's colleague went back to the hotel before the final venue, at which point we were joined by Chie. I have to admit to a certain cruel pleasure in taking Lorenzo to Pronto, given the place's Italian-esque aspirations. Lorenzo always seems mildly embarassed to be there, which is, of course, highly entertaining. I managed to capture a picture of him with that crappy grated "Parmesan" you get in little plastic tubs, a substance any self respecting Italian would rather gouge their own eyes out than even touch, let alone actually eat. (I feel compelled to point out that Lorenzo didn't actually eat any of it, and only touched the container it was in at my request... and then probably washed his hands obsessively for an hour later on in the evening).

Anyway, my ignorant and childish behaviour aside, it was a great pleasure to spend time with my old friend again. It'll be a few months before the next time Lorenzo is in Japan, but given the international jetsetters we've both become of late, who knows where we could meet up next? Italy? England? Peru? Liechtenstein? The world is our lobster!

...or as they say in Italy: "Il mondo e la nostra aragosta."

...which is pretty much the same as how they'd say it in France, too. :)



Comment 1

I presume Lorenzo was pretty well oiled by that time to allow such a photo being taken, even for a friend? You won't even allow me that "plastic" Parmesan in my own kitchen!

Posted by Mum at 2006/05/26 16:05:45.

Comment 2

Mum: it's for your own good! Lorenzo has a very high opinion of your culinary skills, and I wouldn't anything to dent that!

Posted by John at 2006/05/26 16:41:48.

Comment 3

A quanto pare, stata una serata molto divertente.

Posted by Sheri at 2006/05/26 19:10:00.

Comment 4

I suppose you could say that was a "tiramisu" - which in fact sounds more Japanese than Italian!

Posted by Mum at 2006/05/26 21:08:59.

Comment 5

Tira-me-su = pull-me-up!
In other words, bring me to heaven ! (or on cloud nine...)

Posted by Sheri at 2006/05/26 21:50:53.

Comment 6

John: Errr... about Italian being similar to French I am afraid I have to disppoint you here.. It is infact FRENCH that originates from our language, pretty much like everything that is worth there (Monna Lisa, Wine, Cheese, Roads, Paper, Buildings and Fois Gras)... :D
It was a good night nonetheless, I have a feeling that we might meet again maybe NOT in Japan next time!

Mary: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, do not go near that THING! I do understand that it is expensive abroad to buy good parmesan but that THING is evil. (thanks God I thought John to evangelize England after I left!)

Sheri: Well it was, Giovanna was impressed at John's lively efforts to speak italian...

Posted by Lox at 2006/05/27 06:39:48.

Comment 7

Hmmm.... "lively efforts"...?

Posted by John at 2006/05/27 07:01:09.

Comment 8

Now you've upset him, Lox!

Posted by Sheri at 2006/05/27 07:36:14.

Comment 9

John.... well as in very "lively" including arms waving and gesticulation! :)

Posted by Lox at 2006/05/28 07:27:38.

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