After two months in Amsterdam

I just had my last free lunch in the KLM lounge, as since tomorrow I will be downgraded from Gold to Silver member, waiting for my flight to Milan. I won’t come back to A’dam for a while, so it’s a good moment for a reflection.

I’ll do it in English, as a lot of non-Esperanto speakers asked me what the hell is happening in my life now… 😅

So, the question is: what happened in these two months, worth a mention? Well, a lot of things. In sparse order:

– an intense two days with Marco Benini in town, in order to work with me and Jean Wagemans on the foundations of Adpositional Rhetoric #AdpRh;

– a gorgeous party (gezellig is the right word, in Dutch, something you can’t translate) in honour of the 50 years of Jean himself;

– a street portrait session in A’dam Noord with Ivano, Lucia, Giona and Eda (and a couple of guest) which I will never forget, and convinced me that I am not a bad photographer after all…

– discovered that not only I have a non-trivial Erdős number but also a non-trivial Salgado number…

– a reflection of my first five-year period of being a professor at the #uva, held in the Esperanto local club, which resulted in me being filmed and put into a YouTube video, by Ŝaj Ne.

– my most amazing birthday party ever in a very Amsterdam Jewish Esperanto style, all at the same time.

– a great discussion with the students of the #VOS association at the #UvA, with Davide Astori coming. I’m. So. Grateful.

– my first artistic photo book project, not for sale, only for distinguished people.

– the finalization of a book project in Esperanto called #amikaro which is becoming amazing thanks a new friend of mine met in the guesthouse, Valeria Miele.

– gourmet dinners with chef Giuseppe Barra — the fiancé of Valeria — in the guesthouse. You are an artist, my friend!

– two unforgettable dinners on the Meaning of Life (not the Monty Python’s film, but in that spirit) with one of the most amazing man the Mysterious Force let me the opportunity to meet: Roberto Bolognesi.

– new interesting job opportunities in A’dam and the surroundings. First snowball: László Marácz . Stay tuned for details. Fingers crossed.

– intersemiotic conversations with great Italian students of mine (no names will be revealed here)

– an invited lecture in the US about International Auxiliary Languages that should last 45 minutes but it was at the end 90 minutes long because of the passion and interest of the students attending. A video was produced in advance by me and polished by Derek Roff, whom I thank in public here.

– a great week with Davide Astori visiting with the Erasmus+ programme, who finally met Marco Pasi. This encounter will change the world 😆

– an evening with Ivano and friends, and a departmental social dinner, where I started to understand what does it mean to be Turkish today and why Italians are lucky bastards on one side and completely naive on the other — yes, this is sybilline, on purpose

– why Esperanto is still a great opportunity for nowadays’ world, why a lot of people learning the language are wasting their own time, how to avoid losing your time with them, and especially how to make Esperanto again an interesting topic, to the adverted learner — again, the sybil in me is prophetising, don’t ask for an exegesis, I can’t do it, sorry.

– a brainstorming session with Jean Wagemans and Federica Russo, which led to a new research possible collaboration project with an industrial partner. Fingers crossed, stay tuned for details.

– an unforgettable kibbutz-style Esperanto study weekend where I could delve into original Esperanto poetry about Esperantism, with passionate participants! Among the others, the two veterans Andries Hovinga and Joost Franssen, and the new entry Egbert Masereeuw.

– two evenings exploring the secrets of A’dam with Davide Astori as a companion, and Ringo Maurer (yes, the young artist and pianist, a former student of mine in Esperanto), including a very very exclusive place. I will never forget the moment when I improvised a classic jazz song in Esperanto with Ringo playing, smoking a cigar, and drinking a whisky, at the same time.

– in the same secret place, an evening with the most famous mentalist in the Netherlands, who chose me many times as a person of interest among 40-50 participants… I’ll never forget the experience of being hypnotized by him…

…and other great things that I do not remember by now!

I hear you: “wait a minute! No bad things? I don’t believe you!”

And you are right. This is my answer: do you remember the old Cherokee teaching about the fight of the two wolves within you?

(if not, simply google it.)

Well, I know which one to feed.

#iloveamsterdam

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