i am the king of eavesdropping

i have to go pick up the knives from the sharpener in a minute, and there's really not so much to say right now, but another interesting thing happened on the bus that i wanted to write about:

there is a huge national strike today--everything including banks, schools, buses and maybe even trains and planes are on strike, protesting the benefits they get (or don't get). but italians are surprisingly organized about their strikes, actually, and so the bus was running in the morning, but not the afternoon, and the train is running now, but it wasn't this morning. however, there were major protests and things going on in two of the main piazze of the city, and so a lot of the buses had detours and delays.

i ended up waiting about half an hour for the bus, and when it finally arrived, it was practically empty, so i actually got a seat. there were plenty of seats open, even, but this man felt the need to stand almost on top of me, and he kept swaying his elbow into my head every time the bus jiggled or turned (which was a lot). i thought about saying something, but then didn't, and just moved to defend my head and he kind of got the point. anyway, the reason he was standing next to me, i figured out, was because he was traveling with two girls about my age. i was sitting there, thinking about this funny farsi saying that my mom is fond of, and suddenly, i heard farsi being spoken behind me. it was really weird, and through some clever, eavesdropping i deduced that one of the girls is studying aboad in florence and that the other girl and her brother (friends of the original girl) had come over from iran to visit her, this being the major national vacation time of the year there.

my favorite part was when they were debating whether grazie mille or molto gentile expresses more gratitude. i kept turning and staring to look at them, and i know that they thought i was the opposite of molto gentile.

meanwhile, there were a couple of americans on the bus, and i was busy eavesdropping on them, too. their conversation was about the toyota four runner versus the toyota three runner (free runner?).

and of course, there were the many italians to eavesdrop on, like the moaning old ladies and everyone who was complaining about the bus being so late. people were discussing the strike and the benefits and deciding what to do this afternoon.

i think it was the first time that i have ever listened to three different languages being spoken simultaneously, and understood them all. but i did get a headache when i got to zibibbo, as if the adrenalin from it all had run out.

ok, i have to go get those knives!