Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sour Cream and Pedicures (Fragmented Memories from Ukraine)

A couple of weeks ago I was sipping limoncello on a balcony overlooking the lower Amalfi Coast, but it feels more like an era has passed. Much has happened since then, and dreams and reality have intertwined a seemingly endless number of times. I might still be on that balcony sipping limoncello, or I might […]

How to get Back into a Country (an instruction manual)

It’s hard to remember the last time I approached the passport desk without an underlying sense of dread. Adding to my detriment, Ukrainian immigration officials are like rabid dogs, sensing my uneasiness and eager to draw blood (in the form of a back-room bribe). As a result the woman behind the desk spends an eternity […]

American Cities in Italy

If you live in Rome and want to go to Siena, it’s necessary to change trains in a little town somewhere in the middle called Chiusi-Chianciano Terme. I get a cappuccino to still my train-rattled nerves and find myself back in the station, passing the time until my connection by reading Italian fairy tales. A […]

When in Rome: An Expat Excuse for Thuggery

I love idioms as much as anyone, and use every opportunity during conversation to slip one in. Sometimes even without opportunity. -How are you? -In seventh heaven! On cloud nine! And that’s no pie in the sky! -Umm, okay. Want to get something to eat, other than pie? -How out of the blue! Oh would […]

Undeliverable: Tragedies of the Italian Post Office

Greek monuments litter Italy at nearly the same rate as beggars and churches, but nothing serves as an icon to Greek Tragedy like the Italian post office. Government bureaucracy is a bad word in every country, but only in Italian do the syllables rise and fall with the singsong charm of a French guillotine. Burdened […]