I was thinking for a while there that the Parmigiani simply didn’t have sweat glands. Day after day we tender stranieri have been glowing fiercely morning and afternoon on the bus, while Italians of all ages dart here and there on bicycles, hatless, dry-skinned; on one shocking and typically overheated lunchtime we even witnessed one of the Italian students in a cardigan in the dining room. But yesterday’s trip home on the curtainless air conditionless bus, the afternoon sun slamming in through the big windows, we were all dripping and miserable. One might even think, on seeing passengers disembark, that we had all been afflicted by some mass incontinence. It is unbearable.

There, I feel much better, sitting at my steaming laptop, a wet towel draped over my shoulders.

We had a mixed week, a food culture/history exam, some branding, some sociology, but my personal highlight was a talk on the technologies of development, from Ugo Vallauri, who is ex-Slow Food and now works for Computer Aid in Nairobi, where he has been exploring means of development aid publicity using high and low technologies. He told us about the difficulties of using computers let alone internet in an environment where power supplies are patchy at best, and where internet access is prohibitively expensive even where it is available. The telephone and cabling infrastructure doesn’t exist, and so what access there is tends to use, like the much more influential medium of mobile phones, satellite technology.

Off to find some slightly cooler air in Bergamo now. As you’ll see, I’m crawling through back-filling my Spanish postings. Only a couple more days to go. Maybe I’ll finish next week.

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