Owen and I spend our afternoons in cafés. I work and Owen does homework for the class he’s taking about Etruscan art. Last year was the travel writing course. Interestingly, or maybe not, they're the same two courses Henry chose—clearly deliberate choices to avoid the two classes that have to do with drawing and painting. Hmmm…..
Monday’s café was the one we spent most of our time in last year, so that was our first stop. But this day it was filled with American students, not “ours,” but from some other program. And not the usual opera group that comes to Viterbo this time every year. You can tell this wasn’t that group because nobody sang. The opera kids seem to have no control over singing publicly.
These kids, although separately by a floor—Owen and I tuck into a little tiny loft space—drove me nuts. They were all attached to iPads, iPhones or laptops, and spent four hours in this café, talking about nothing other than where they were going next.
“I’m meeting a friend in London and we’re going to Dublin together.”
“I really wanna go to Switzerland. Or Germany. Or [shrug] anywhere.”
I wanted to jump down from the loft and say, “You’re in ITALY NOW. How about going THERE???”
As I write this, I remember my junior year in Denmark when most weekends were spent on a train to points south of Scandinavia, and my sweet host mother asking, “What about the rest of Denmark?”