It's finals time in good old Italy, which means I'm starting to - le gaspe - do some actual study! I've been diving into the Summa, recently, to learn about the virtue of religion (how it is t'eh awesome), and I've come to the conclusion that Thomas is all right as a philosopher. Not that I'm a Thomist or anything - one person I was in conversation with said in passing that "we're all Thomists, here," and I wanted to jump up on the table and scream that I was not a Thomist but a philosopher! I'm too young in my study of Thomas to be a Thomist, unless I'm a connatural one, and, besides, labels make me uneasy because they're thrown around so lightly (despite having profound implications) that who knows what they mean to anyone. Being a Thomist might mean anything from a fan-boy to the person who loves Aquinas so much they can actually decipher his handwriting. Why be misunderstood as holding certain views or positions that you don't even know about in the first place?
Now, for a few updates!
I have met Cnytr, while she was stopping over in Rome, and she is absolutely wonderful, with a keen sense of humor and a knowledge of things early Church/medieval and cool that staggers the mind (or my mind, at least). I felt rather shy when we met, because I'm all about philosophy and don't know nuthin' about liturgical particulars or many things medieval, whereas she knows all the juicy bits. But we discovered that we both love Fr. Ted, so each of us knew the other was alright and we shook hands over dinner. In summary, CNYTR gets bumped up from "staple blogs" to the "interesting peoples" category!
Another person to enter the "interesting peoples" category is Fr. Philip Powell. This blogger goes to my university, and I met him while having dinner with a friend. I haven't followed his blog extensively, what with having little time and all, but what little I've read seems to merit this more attention!
So does my housemate, the Cultural Enigma. She's a travel-buddy, housemate, cook extraordinaire, and has even MORE interesting adventures with Italians than I do... I think... which she should blog about!
Oh! I also had the great pleasure of meeting Zadok the Roman during this semester. Zadok also is being moved up to interesting peoples!
And what interesting experiences have I had, lately?
Well, after having dinner with Cnytr, she had to use the facilities at the restaurant, so I was bopping about at the table and noticed that our waiter was setting tables in a truly superb manner. I complimented him and said that what he was doing was an art - so he showed me that it was an art, even down to the folding of a napkin so that when a patron sat down and pulled it onto their lap it would open just so. He invited me to try setting a table in this manner, and I politely declined. Etiquette rules here are rather complicated and it's good to err on the side of non-action when someone invites you to do something- particularly if it's a man who is doing the inviting! He moved on.
The other waiter in the restaurant, observing the exchange, and, thinking to act as a wingman of sorts, came to the table as Cnytr was returning. He told me, with a sly smirk, that the waiter whose table-setting skills I'd complimented was "il primo piato" (I think this translates as "the main course" - ooo la la!) and that, though the man was only 36 years old, was the "boss" of the restaurant! "He's been boss for 36 years?" I stammered, confused. "NOOOO!" he shrieked, and called out to Il Primo Piato something that amounted to "she thinks you're very OLD!" "I'm ONLY 18!" was his indignant response (a lie, but Italians are shameless when it comes to lying about their age) as he flew back to the table to disperse any ridiculous ideas about his age. The COOK, meanwhile, had ALSO overheard the exchange and HE peered out from the kitchen to defend his boss' youth and clasp and shake his hands at me and say "DAI, DAI, DAI!"
Cnytr knows Italian, but she didn't follow this exchange and was staring at me at this point - what on earth had I done or said? ALL the staff for the restaurant was talking or "DAI"-ing at me/us! Thankfully, we were leaving. So, Il Primo Piato, wooed by my complimenting his table-setting and forgiving my thinking he was old, opened the door and murmured..."the restaurant closes at quarter to 12... you should... come back then." I thanked him.
Then Cnytr and I left. Cnytr wanted me to stick around after that, just to see what ELSE might happen that evening!