My Italian art teacher is an older man with a receding hairline and his flannel shirt untucked. He’s a Fulbright scholar with the personal style of a hobo. We are 12 college students with previously-purchased black sketchbooks and no prior knowledge of technical drawing. Nevertheless, we will be released into the city to draw the sculptures and statues. Gesticulating wildly with a 2B pencil, he tells us, “I need you to give up.”
Last Saturday, I touched down in London-Town with my eyes wide, my hopes high and my fake British accent well-rehearsed and ready to go. I turned my back on the more obvious, tropical, MTV-sponsored locales for the first time and packed my bags for a sun- and body shot-free zone. Just hours into my journey, high above the Atlantic, I was certain I’d made the right choice. Although I admit this may have had something to do with the combination of sitting next to an empty seat on the plane and/or the Valium my lovely mom slipped in my carry-on, my excitement prevailed and after seven pleasant air-borne hours I approached the friendly-looking immigration officer with a skip in my step and a smile.
Officer: “Passport?” … Why of course, sir.