I find my classes so creative! Today we had to describe what changes we would make for young people in our cities if we were mayor. It was so interesting to hear People’s opinions from all around the world–lower university prices, putting in skate parks, enabling everyone to pursue a university diploma, more places to ski free, a public pool. (Lots of conditional for you grammar geeks.)
Then we played Timeline. I had played this before with my own children. It’s cards with historical events that you have to put in order–was the hair dryer invented before the iron? (No.) Was the umbrella invented before the trash can? (Surprisingly, YES.) Then we had to take our losing cards and say “If _______ (fries had never been invented) then ______ (McDonalds would have taken over the world.) ” People came up with funny sentences.
After school. I wanted to walk around the city and find all the trompe l’oeil buildings. As I was leaving school an Italian friend and I talked briefly and I invited her to come with me.
“Oh, yes, but I have to eat something. Can you wait?”
“Oh, and we have to wait for my other friends, too, because I have their food.”
“OK.” And eventually we were joined by two other Italians and a Spaniard.
Then after eating, she said “I just remembered I have to send an important email. It will just take a minute to log on the school computer and send it.”
Half an hour later she came back. Then one of the Italians said “We want to come with you, but we need a coffee first.” (Note to self: learn to be less uptight about time schedules.)
She said “OK, but a very fast coffee.”
So we walked to the café, and maybe 45 minutes later we were on our way.
It really was fun. We spoke in English, Italian, French, and Spanish and sometimes lapsing into three languages in one sentence. They would start speaking Italian, and I would be fine, until I wasn’t and they would switch back. The Spaniard was super eager to speak Spanish. Yeah, me, too. Unfortunately, my Spanish right now sounds like “Spançais.” We talked of marriage (I’m in favor–them, not so much), travel (all in favor), and things we love and hate about our countries (Italian women hate Italian men’s expectations that they will do all the cooking and cleaning.) The buildings were darling, but so difficult to photograph. There are trees in the way! And motorcycles! And the construction of a new subway line! Afterwards we had to have another “coffee”, (translation: beer for them; tea for me.) I arrived home at dinnertime after having walking miles and miles. I loved seeing all the different neighborhoods and the stories were great. Towards the end, one woman (age 30) said “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t feel happy unless I’m traveling or have a trip to look forward to. I somehow crave the stimulation.” And we all nodded.
Do we have these in the states? It’s called a “noisette” here.
This is a flat building:
The “shadows” of this building are paint, not shadow. The poles with animals on top are real metal.
The first is to give you an idea of the whole building, the second and third are details on the same wall.