Journal entry March 08, 2009 – catching up

It’s a Sunday afternoon here in Milan. The weekend has been sunny, the girls have been warm, there has been singing and dancing, drinking, eating, celebrating, exploring, and ohh did I mention dancing? As I sit sequestered in my room listening to the washing machine’s spinning, water boiling on the stove hungrily waiting for pasta and the sounds of the city outside my window I feel that in this moment it’s time to catch up.

On Tuesday I had a nice day at work. At the end of the day I rushed home to change and hopped over to Tropicana for a wonderful dance lesson in salsa. We continued with our pattern and added a third section part. After the lesson I talked with another dancer who had video-taped the lesson. I added the young gentleman as a friend on Facebook and now have the videos of our lessons to help me practice. Amazing what technology can do isn’t it? Facebook has risen steadily to prominence and almost every day as I read the news I see it referenced. It will be interesting to see what their next steps will be to maintain their competitive edge. I’m curious if they’ll stagnate feeling secure in their monstrous market share as so many others have done, or will continue to revolutionize online social networking. I’d watch the blogs of the Virtual Wayfarer for some thoughts on where Web 2.0 and now 3.0 might be headed. (www.virtualwayfarer.com)

Back to the story!

Having the videos hosted provides a great utility to help me remember during the long week between each lesson. I often think back to the classes at ASU, two days a week plus chances to practice four or more days a week… man, how good we had it.

Wednesday: My boss has been out of office this week so I’ve been working solo. I’ve completed almost everything. Writing drafts, briefs, backgrounds, organizing and sorting… all that remains is some archiving and the retirement of files. Not very fun by any means but necessary. As with any business or organization the proper level of order and control over your information and files is crucial.

Wednesday night was pretty chill, just relaxed, kicked back, and took it easy.

Thursday was pretty good too – I ran over to Tropicana after work and sat in on another lesson. A different teacher and different patterns…more intricate and a little more difficult but fun. I was a little aggravated that I had to pay the school’s inscription fee. Basically, because they are a school and consider themselves an educational structure not a nightclub (which they are), they have a basic 30 euro annual fee. You can sign up for courses which are 10 euro per time if you only come once or twice or 5 euro after you pay your inscription. It’s not too bad…you only need to attend six lessons to make up the cost in savings…but the fee is described as an annual cost. Being here for only 3 months, the principle of paying for a year long membership for three months of use irked me. However, the pleasure I’m deriving from dancing and the lessons however is worth the cost in my eyes. Besides – it is cheaper than cover at most bars.

Friday was a ton of fun. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to do much work because we had a town hall style video conference covering Hillary’s speech in Brussels live. Her discussion regarding the questions asked was intelligent and tactful. I was surprised. After the town hall meeting, we went to lunch with all the other interns…13 of us all together. There are six young women from the FCS – Foreign Commercial Services branch and our six plus the Director of the Public Affairs section who joined us. Lunch was good and was comprised of deep fried calamari, cuttlefish, baby octopus, shrimp and scallops plus baby cabbages and mixed boiled veggies – for 7 euro… not bad, not bad at all.

I returned to work, finished out the day and headed home. When I got home my roommates and I went over to Bocconi – rented the indoor soccer field there and played for an hour. I may be slow but I’m big and a bit like a brick wall. There were ten of us all together, five and five.

Unfortunately for one of our opponents, I’m quite a bit sturdier than the classic, skinny, sticklike Italians. Needless to say, in a collision…I win. He accidentally kicked me instead of the ball and had to sit out for 10 minutes trying to decide if he’d broken two of his toes or not. I didn’t feel much as he directly kicked my shins and although the skin on my leg turned a little pink there was little damage. The second collision of the evening came later when another nemesis slipped on the astroturf and collided with me. He twisted something in his back and had to sit out. The team consensus – I was great at defense but in the future we should play rugby. We had a few drinks after the game and there were no ill feelings which is good since I wasn’t responsible for any of the collisions.

My new Italian nickname Grande Davide AKA Immenso.

After the soccer game I rushed into the shower, grabbed a bite to eat, and took off for an Irish pub on Viale Brera. I met up with the marines and the RSO and his wife and had a relaxing chat with them. The bar closed at 3 am and we wandered to Corso Como and then the marines headed home. We walked with them to Viale Turati and said goodnight and for the third time I walked from Viale Turati to Piazza San Marco, San Marco to Brera, Brera to the Duomo, the Duomo to Piazza XXIV del Marzo, Ptza Marzo to Viale Bligny and Bligny back home. Two lovely hours from 4:15 – 6:09. got in my bed and went to sleep.

Woke up late on Saturday – looking forward to a birthday party, but that is another post.