Saturday, May 5, 2018

When in Rome

On this day Thirty Two years ago in Northern Virginia the Wisteria Bloom had been and gone. "OMG! What an incredible memory you have!" I hear the call. "Well, thank you," I humbly reply. At the same time it is the case that a few moments stick, most do not and yet others just kind of float around looking for somewhere useful to cause trouble. Sadly, I am one who remembers, often with clarity, the least important of moments. So it's kind of dull to go on about the difference between a torch and a flashlight, a sidewalk and a pavement, a socialist and Stalin, or to even suggest that not even the Romans knew what Rome was, rather they knew what they wanted it to be. I have no evidence of course, but strongly suspect that not every Roman thought it a fine entertainment to toss the more virulent  Christian to a hungry Lion, and entirely possible that not all Romans knew how many Senatorial Provinces there were, or what the difference was between a Senatorial Province and an Imperial Province.

Unlike being pompous, some things never belong to instinct. The eight times table is a good example, the difference between a nickel and a dime is a better example, and yet I do remember, maybe forty five years ago, an urchin aboard an endless Greek Ferry trying to persuade me that the larger ten lepta coin was worth more than the smaller twenty five lepta coin. I lacked his guile and entrepreneurial cunning, but the difference between the Hindu-friendly 10 and 25 marked on the respective coins was so much Dutch to him. On that same ferry were two back-packing United States Boys, who moaned like hell when at our destination there was a long walk to a waiting taxi. My Greek Urchin friend knew the short cut and wanted to introduce my bus-fare to his sister, never been sure why. Oddly enough in the past thirty two years I have been asked on more than one occasion, "Do you have Television in England?" Nor has assimilating into anyone's Roman Mould/Mold ever been comfortable. On the bright side, more recently I have learned when referencing vehicle tires to emphasize "Tar," which in my view is satisfactory progress.

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