Saturday, February 26, 2005

An extra benefit to learning Italian

This thought occurred to me recently, and I thought it worth sharing with all of you. I am a bit embarrassed to confess that I used to be absolutely terrified of bats, although I suppose there was never any logical reason for this phobia. (Rabies had something to do with it, but subconsciously, it might also stem from their long and well-entrenched, but perhaps unfair, association with dark castles in Transylvania and other forms of creepiness in general.) But I have discovered that my sense of fear and revulsion toward them has largely diminished in recent years, and I think it might be no coincidence that I have taken up the study of Italian during that time. How does the study of Italian possibly help one to overcome a fear of bats? Well, look at it this way: What rational soul could possibly have anything to fear from a creature known by the bird-song designation of il pipistrello?

4 Comments:

Blogger Erika said...

Well, it's time for my first post. Ciao to everyone and thanks, Garry, for inviting me in.

Irrational fear and revulsion of relatively harmless animals is well known to me. (Harmless to other people, at least.) Here's my sad secret: ever since I was a little girl I've been irrationally afraid of fish. I keep having nightmares of waking up in a bed filled with those slimy, cold, staring-eyed creatures. It's very hard, perhaps impossible, to explain this phobia of mine to others and actually I just realized that revealing it isn't probably the smartest way to make first impression. :)

Pesce? Doesn't sound that bad at all, compared to a blunt "kala" of my own language. Italian as phobia removal technigue- I think you have a point there.

-Erika

4:07 PM  
Blogger Garry Wilmore said...

Thank you for an entertaining comment -- and no, don't worry about putting people off by confessing a fear of fish. I suspect there are plenty of otherwise reasonable people out there who suffer from one kind of phobia or another. Perhaps we will hear from a few of them right here in our little blog.

One word of advice, however. When you finally do make it to Florence, I recommend that you eat at least one meal at the Grotta Guelfa, which you have perhaps seen mentioned in my Italy e-mails. My wife loved the fresh bass she ordered at this place, but if you follow her example, you may want to warn the waiter beforehand about your particular sensibility. Read the story if you haven't already, and you'll see what I mean!

10:52 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

Hi Erika! If anything, your admission of a phobia is BRAVE!!! Thank you! Personally, I think that if you don't fear anything at all, your life is going too easy! ;) Again, thank you for showing bravery!

12:03 AM  
Blogger Barney said...

I can't stand bats -- or spiders. When I was 4, I ran out to the swing set in our back yard and was confronted, directly at eye level, with a silver spider hanging from an invisible thread. The shock stayed with me for years. I thought I was over it until a few years ago when a wolf spider made it into our house and crawled onto our youngest daughter's head. We managed to catch the creature and return it to the wilds.

9:02 PM  

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