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Just as in Moscow I could only think of Alexei Sayle saying "Ah, Coca-cola, symbol of free west. I like Cola-cola", here, in the physics building commissioned by El Duce himself, I can only think of the Stupid Noises song, and to a lesser extent the Dr. Marten's Boots song.

Getting my Italian lessons from Deal Or No Deal and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire can only get you so far, and Italy as experienced by Paul goes something like this: ****** questo ***** su ****** ******* gli ***** ****** **** di ****** tavolo per due.

It is to my supreme relief that I am not going to graduate from the university in Padova. The graduation rituals unfold as follows. Your 'friends' sing a song that goes "Dottore! Dottore! Dottore del buso del cul, vaffancul, vaffancul!" all day and all of the night. I will not translate it as my grandmothers may read this. They all take turns to slap you on the back as hard as is possible, strip you down to your lacies and throw noxious things like rotting octopus at you. They will have made an A1 size poster with a caricature of you on it that is likely flattering if you are a lady but rather filthy if you are a gentleman, and on this poster will be a chronicle of your embarrassing sexual adventures during your candidature. This you must read in public and for every omission or inaccuracy you must quaff vast quantities of stiff drink. This poster will be then publicly displayed in one of the town squares or on the gates of your faculty.

My only other observation thus far is that many Padovans cannot drive. I do not mean this in the sense that Mongolians cannot drive, where they disobey the few very traffic laws they have, I mean this in the sense that many of the locals here cannot operate an automobile with much skill. They need at least 3 points to perform a 90 degree park, even in the wide streets.

Now, a political comment, addressed to all those whom in our recent Australian referendum were annoyed that the 2 options were the status quo or a president appointed by cabinet, and there was no option for a popularly elected president. I draw your attention to Ukraine, where a popularly elected prime minister and a popularly elected president (whose powers are slightly greater than that of figurehead, but include military matters) are now engaged in a power struggle that could end in blood on the streets. This would be like the Whitlam dismissal times 10. We do not want such a situation.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 5th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
Ukraine
One of them was poisoned too, if memory serves. Scary stuff.

-J x
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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