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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thaddeus and Jonah's- travels in a gap year.

Thaddeus and Jonah both spent nine months each in Italy as part of a gap year before commencing studying for their degrees at university. 

Was the huge expense worth it? 

They both returned from their continental foray speaking fluent Italian (or so they led me to believe but since I don’t know the language they may have been conversing in gibberish) so that was something. 

When Thaddeus stepped off the plane back into the arms of his mamma, he looked like what I would describe as Eurotrash. The Urban Dictionary defines Eurotrash as, 

A human sub-phylum characterized by its apparent affluence, worldliness, social affectation and addiction to fashion. Males are characterized by a semi-slovenly appearance (including half-shaven faces), greasy hair, rib-hugging shirts, tight jeans and loafers worn without socks. 

Semi-slovenly- tick 

social affectation- tick 

half-shaven face- tick 

rib-hugging shirt- tick

tight jeans- tick

loafers (no socks)- tick

long greasy hair- tick tick tick 

I couldn’t see any ‘apparent affluence’ but I guess if you considered his newly acquired cultural penchants, such as drinking and smoking, there was a degree of ‘worldliness’.

There is no nice way of saying this but he STUNK! 

We had to wind the windows of the car down and stick our faces out for the entire journey home from the airport. 

Picking up Jonah one afternoon after a ten day survival camp was a putrid episode. Giving Hagar and his billeted pals a lift home from an all-day basketball training camp was an affair of malodorous proportion, but nothing compared to this entity assaulting our senses.

I should have had inkling there would be some type of transformation to Thaddeus’ persona occurring when I first laid eyes on some of the photographs he’d emailed home. 

There was one particular photograph of Thaddeus standing in the middle of a group of about thirty Italian teenagers. 

They all looked like the stylish, hipster cast from a Fellini movie, whilst Thaddeus stood there in his ill-fitting jeans and daggy pullover looking every bit the ‘mangenue’.

Thaddeus (or ‘marsupial’ as was the sophisticated nickname bestowed upon him by his Italian miei amici ) has continued to refine his expertise on the drinking and smoking front and is currently attempting to set a record for the most protracted time spent completing a law degree.

Jonah spent his time in Italy living with a family who spoke absolutely no English whatsoever. 

He returned to Australia playing his guitar with the proficiency of Angus Young. 

Okay, he wasn’t that good but he was a lot better than when he left, probably due to the many solitary hours he spent in his room with no one intelligible to talk to. 

His freshly acquired ability inspired him to approach Thaddeus and Newman (the neighbour), to start a band.

“Loud Horse” was getting ready to leave the stable.