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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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The British are rubbing off on me. [20080118|10:05]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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In typical English-speaking tourist fashion, I have failed to learn a word of Italian in anticipation of this trip. I shall have to rely on my winning personality and sparkling good looks to get by.

...Oh, shit.

I'm nearly done interviewing. Any further requests will probably have to wait until after I return from Sicily to have theirs, but as those of you who've been on my friends list for a while will know, I'm pretty diligent about answering comments, even if it takes me weeks. So if you want me to dream up five special questions just for you, please do ask.

I've put a few of the answers to questions I was asked behind the cut below.

seismic asks: What associations do you have with being a grownup?

I think for me becoming "grown up" started to happen when I realized that people are often nasty, intentionally or otherwise, to each other for no other reason than they're able to get away with it, and that "people" included "me".

kittenhotep asks: What has been the happiest moment/day/phase of your life so far?

I don't think I've had a happiest moment or day. I believe I'm experiencing the happiest phase now. If it gets any better than this, I may pop.

victorine asks: Do you ever see yourself getting married?

I find myself less personally averse to the idea of marriage these days. Maybe it's the more laid-back approach that a lot of the British seem to have towards it. I don't mean to say that they don't love a good lavish ceremony, or that they don't take their vows seriously, but they just seem so much less in-your-face about it than a lot of Americans. Also, they don't mind the gays doing it. So I think part of the change in my view comes from their cultural influence. With the removal of the galling attitude that marriage is a goal that must be attained for all straight people, I feel more comfortable with it.

behsharam asks: Do humans have souls?

The short answer to your question is no. Assuming that by "soul" you mean some as-yet-unquantified, possibly unquantifiable, portion of a human being which stores their consciousness, the answer is still no. I think that sentience is a matter of synaptic function, and that when the latter ceases, so does the former.

[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2008-01-18 10:26 (UTC)

The British are rubbing off on me.

You might not want to stand so close to them then....unless you like it...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 10:31 (UTC)
Heh. Try being on a tube carriage during rush hour. You don't get a choice!
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2008-01-18 11:20 (UTC)
true. I've been on enough subways in NY to attest it's a worldwide activity.
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[User Picture]From: giles
2008-01-18 19:26 (UTC)
I think you're confused about international travel... it's the foreigner's responsibility to understand you. As long as you do your bit by talking S L O W L Y and very L O U D the rest is up to them!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-29 19:50 (UTC)
Fortunately, we didn't have to resort to such tactics. We had a lovely blonde-haired blue-eyed infant with us. (Not mine, I hasten to add.) Whenever we got into a communicative jam, we just held up the baby, and everybody started talking nonsensical affectionate garble. Magic!
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[User Picture]From: becala
2008-01-18 19:48 (UTC)
In my brief experience in Italy, I found that even though I'd gone to some effort to learn simple phrases, they couldn't understand me anyway because my inflection was wrong. I did not run into even one italian that *minded* that I didn't speak Italian or that felt I was "expecting" them to speak English. Which is probably because most of them didn't. The language barrier did not stop anyone at all from chattering at me at length in Italian, which I found pleasant though not very educational. Mostly I ended up pointing to words in a phrase book if I needed to ask for something. If you don't already have one, I recommend Lonely Planet's phrasebooks because they are well organized, accurate, and extremely amusing. Check out the section on dating.
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[User Picture]From: swerve
2008-01-18 21:49 (UTC)
I spent some time learning basic phrases in Italian before I left. My pronunciation was decent and locals could understand me, which was fun. What I hadn't considered is that if I asked a question in Italian, I needed to be able to understand the answer in Italian, usually much faster and sometimes idiomatic Italian. "Repeat more slowly, please" turned out to be an essential phrase. ;)
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[User Picture]From: becala
2008-01-18 22:21 (UTC)
Yeah, I actually was able to communicate basic things like please, thank you, where's the restroom, may I have that pizza senza formagio, etc, without much trouble. Where I ran into the biggest problems was when I needed to ask for a guardia medico, and when I needed to ask for OTC cold medication or lotion for my eczema. (I wasn't having the healthiest trip ever.) I *thought* I had the right words and pronunciation, but no one had any idea what I was asking them for until I pointed to things in the phrasebook. But perhaps it was the fever that was causing the communication issues. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-29 19:47 (UTC)
Well, as it turns out, when one of your traveling companions is a black woman and another is a beautiful blonde-haired blue-eyed infant, nobody cares what sort of garble comes out of your mouth. They're too busy alternately goggling at the woman and making silly faces at the baby.
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