Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have been called all of these titles.

 Having lived all over the world and being called a number of things, some even respectful.

 I was thinking the other day about them. In the States it is pretty much mister, unless you are a Doctor or a Professor, which I am not.

 Spanish speaking countries have the Don also the Mafia seems to have it.
 In Spain there was only one Don in the office and that was the president, Alfredo. Years later when I visited the office, having run some offices myself, I was greeted at the airport, by the company driver as Don Gregorio. I have to tell you, it was pretty damn good, and I really liked it, Don Gregorio.

 In Mexico, age sort of gave you the Don title, although in the office it was the shoeshine guy, Don Tomy that had it and me. I was happy to share it with him…he was an institution in the office, and probably did a better job than I did, he never lost any clients.

 Japan…I never understood what I was called but want to believe it was respectful.

 While visiting the village my parents came from in Asia Minor I was called Effendi, thought that was pretty amazing.

 Italy was Dottore, pretty much to everybody, and I thought they were all doctors…they also had a lesser one, Licensiado. I was always Dottore, even in the parking lot. I picked up my car one evening and gave double my normal tip, some sort of thousands of lire, probably an extra dollar. The attendant immediately straightened up and called me Commendatore. The next day I was Commendatore in the parking lot by all the attendants and I remained that as long as I was in Italy and gave two-dollar tips.

 I have to try that someplace else and see what happens.

 Greece has Kyrie as the most common but there is the noble Archonda.

 Obviously there are other not so polite ones, although all the countries I have lived in seem to have those.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Golden Wedding Anniversary...or is it?

We just celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on Jan 14th, 2012 in Athens. We had an amazing time and were surrounded by our kids and close friends here in Athens. We received notes, gifts and well wishes from relatives and the friends we have made over the years from all over the world. It was really a wonderful experience. Our marriage has been an even more wonderful experience. We met at college, Pratt, in 1955. Just writing this makes it sound even more unbelievable, 1955… I was 18 and she was 17, I am 74 now, do the math. My God we have known each other since the beginning of time and been married for 50 of them… we are one week into our next 50th. Here is the minor doubt…when we married in the Three Hierarchs Church in Brooklyn, our usual priest was unable to perform our marriage ceremony due to a family crisis and that day another priest married us instead. No problem… although he did have a problem pronouncing my wife’s first name…Jeannine came out Tsannninnee and variations of that every time he said her name during the service, Sanninee, Tsanni, and even his version of a Greek one. I often wondered if our marriage is actually valid, although on the paperwork, I think it was spelled correct. Hmm, I wonder.