Sunday, August 21, 2011


428. Tuesday afternoon. On Torino di Sangro beach. Relaxing under blue parasols with our respective books, we are enjoying the last partial day of our vacation. Our lunch today will be the last proper meal in Italy, and I am using this as an excuse for my early hunger. Early is subjective anyway because it is already half past twelve and, after ten days of being on holidays, the only remnant of my working days is the almost daily thought, it is half past twelve and time for lunch! Zoe says she can start thinking about eating, but Gaston is not convinced. "You just ate three hours ago!" he points out, looking up from Prospérité sans croissance. "But I am hungry," I provide one of the world's most logical arguments: I am hungry, therefore I eat. Millions of people would have agreed with me, but not Gaston. "That is just your psychological need, not your biological need!"

Sunday afternoon. At Bois de la Cambre. Sitting on the grass under a canopy, we are focusing on our respective work. The picnic food is lying between us; among other things, the carpaccio sandwich remains untouched. I am wondering whether I should eat the sandwich -- it is almost three PM -- when it occurs to me that my breakfast was barely before noon. You just ate three hours ago! goes his voice in my head. Damn you Gaston and your magro frame (about the only Italian word that I learnt from Mario's grandmother, who on more than one occasion commented on Gaston's lean body). No longer being able to freely eat whenever I want, I text the magro boy to complain. Then comes the reply. "Good it means my lessons are working! We might go further with the next lesson..."

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