Honey and Thunder: or, On the Blog Again

January 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

I am Tania Sanchez, she of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. I heard everyone had dropped blogging and was tweeting. So I concluded now is a good time to blog. Also, I’m avoiding writing a sex scene in my novel.

I hereby begin.

Now, this could be a very dull-for-you and soothing-for-me blog about cooking and cats—though never about cooking cats, I’m not that Cantonese—and it could even achieve the goal of total pablum someday. But I am in the middle of moving house from the Boston area to Glyfada, Greece. So unfortunately, I fear there could be content.

Off we go, one American and one Italian-Frenchman educated in London, to the land of excellent olive oil, ancient architecture, austerity measures and associated riots, to bask in the Mediterranean sun, conduct research on fruit flies, and keep the cats indoors so they won’t be inexplicably poisoned by neighbors, which I hear is the traditional Greek approach to feral animal control.

We’ll be there starting April. I’m in Somerville, Mass., now, disbelieving the latest snow. Next week we’ll be in Santa Fe. Then to the EU we go.

In preparation, I am going through the Pimsleur Greek lessons and can now semi-successfully tell you I understand a little Greek, am American (in a female way), and call you sir or ma’am or miss, with varying accuracy. There is also a word for hello that, suspiciously, in several visits to Greece I never heard anyone say.

Despite assurances of Americans that everyone in Greece speaks English, it is truer to say that many people in Greece speak some English. When we spent two weeks in a residential neighborhood on Luca’s last visit to the handsome hilltop institute where he will soon work, no one in the grocery store could, for example, reply to my question as to whether any of the laundry soap was appropriate for an allergic person, so I spent two glorious spring weeks insomniac, discreetly scraping at my inflamed flanks like a fleabit chimp.

I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never gotten a chance to speak a foreign language, though I learned French and am married to a supposed Frenchman. Alas, he speaks nearly perfect American English and is persnickety about pronunciation. Four or five times already I have blundered into the same unlearnable lesson about how to make “eu” sound different in “L’Heure” from the way it is in “Bleue.” In fact, for me a large swath of perfumery is now filed under Parfums Voldemort, They That Must Not Be Named. I tried speaking French to his mother briefly, but she immediately begged me to speak English, which she barely understands but at least I say correctly. I now regret sincerely that our French class spent all its time trying to get Mme Smith to tell us all about her date last Friday, to avoid conversational practice. I never will learn it properly now. Shame.

Anyway, here shall be the adventures of one American in Europe with her European husband and two enormous cats. Mission statement complete.

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