Sunday, September 26, 2010

An offer . . .

. . . I couldn't refuse.

Two of my direct report local nationals had planned a trip to begin negotiations on a rather large lease that must be renegotiated by March next. They asked if I would like to come along.

Friday. Nice day. Road trip. Why not?

Good choice.

The meeting was held at Signore and Signora G's casa at the lease site. This is not their main home - just a get-away place in the hills. Some get-away! Although rather small and attached to some of the maintenance and storage buildings at the lease site, it was amazingly elegant on the inside. Arches and vaults and marble and tiles. Antique furniture filled every room.

It wasn't so much a meeting as a visit. It was pleasant conversation followed by a little business followed by pleasant conversation and espresso on the terrazza.

Signore and Signora G are both from old-line Napoli familes, and were perfect hosts. Elegant is the only description I can muster. They even listened patiently while I tried to answer some of their questions about me and my family in my fractured Italiano.

It took me back to the times when I was very young and in the homes of my grandparents and their friends. It was a totally different world.

Oh, and I don't drink coffee, but I absolutely would not have refused that cup of espresso. I was prepared to grit my teeth and get it over with, but it wasn't half bad. Not that I intend to be a coffee drinker. That was my first drink of coffee in 49 years and I don't intend to make it a regular event.