Rain rain go away. Come back another day.
It’s raining outside. Lashings of good English rain against the skylights and windows in my boardroom where I sit with Dante and Wagner studying. We’ve got a pleasant view of the garden as the squirrels run up and down the fully-leafed trees. Today is for hibernation in my castle, free from the distractions of the world.
I’ve got a leggy young English bird coming around this afternoon to make sandwiches and watch an old Italian giallo movie in the cinema room. She’s a pleasant young filly but I won’t be elevating her to bedroom companion any time soon. Tomorrow my Belorussian girl has asked me to walk her along the river. These are all agreeable diversions but today I want some quality Cervantes time.
I’ve been studying Turkish on the Rosetta Stone. It’s part of my 2012 plan of rounding out my cultural knowledge (Mastery and Intrigue, in my vernacular). I’d like to get some basic grounding in five languages this year, enough to get by on a holiday and shake off the idiot-foreigner label. It took a while to narrow down the list. Thai was very difficult, the pronounciation so strange that I wasn’t even sure what sounds I was listening to. Turkish is far more amenable to the English ear. Plus, I’ve got a thing for Turkish girls. Their dark features and thick hair captures my attention quite easily.
Rosetta Stone is likely causing mayhem to the business model of language schools. When studying Japanese in Tokyo I went to daily classes four hours a day and a couple of hours homework in a cafe. I liked it but with the benefit of hindsight learning as a “subject” is wrong. It’s bookish. Language needs to be alive and freed from subclauses, conjugation and other grammatical abstractions. Rosetta Stone is so simple as to be genius. Learn language like children learn – through repetition and figuring out the rules yourself from carefully-presented examples. It’s fun.
Last Autumn I met a classy Turkish girl in London. She was walking down Carnaby Street perusing the hats of a street vendor. Kurtz and I noticed her. Tall, elegant, immaculately dressed. I felt compelled to introduce myself. We dated a few times but she was only in London for three weeks to study English in preparation for a big movie role she’d been offered. She’s back in Istanbul now and she wants to show me around her city. I think it would be nice to revisit Istanbul with a bit of language behind me.