Commencing the last seven days in Parma; my final report is done, and must only be presented at Monday’s all-day marathon back on campus. Then there will be graduation festivities of various times. A few more visits to my friends at Poste Italiane and I’m outta here.
Not the most enthralling week. Monday was enlivened by the visit of an aspirapolvere salesman – my first door to door salesman in Italian. He was, he swore, more eager to show me the wonderful cleaning abilities of his product than to sell me anything, but left swiftly when I said I would not be living there much longer. I would have thought the complete absence of carpets would be a bit of a drawback too, but never mind.
The rest of the week I can’t really account for; a couple of coffees with people, and a lot of report writing and packing of boxes, half maddened by dodgy internet connections. Yesterday a long walk in the twilight in search of a quad band mobile phone to replace my more limited relic; I ended up in the horrific churn of Esselunga (its name means ‘long S’ – just like its rather unattractive logo) and with the help of the kind man at the electronics counter managed to achieve my objective and leave quickly. Happier still when I managed to find the English language settings on the phone and get it operational.
Today I’ve been reading something of relevance, as I cook my way through the remaining dry goods in my cupboard. It’s a continuation of earlier reports that British shoppers throw away a third of what they buy – which when you think about it, as Wrap has, is like throwing one of every three bags of groceries straight into the garbage. I would be hugely surprised if other developed-world shoppers throw away anything less than this; I haven’t seen anything that reports on Canadian food waste, but I did find a report from 2004 that said Americans don’t eat half the food they produce, although other reports suggest a more conservative one-quarter waste rate. Which I frankly don’t believe. Be that as it may, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of using things up. Leftovers cuisine: can there be anything more random?