Today is day three in Ajaccio and I’m having an awesome time. This is my 2nd trip to Ajaccio (the first time was in 2004, just after I left Microsoft and before TPN) and I absolutely am in love with the place. Think Cuba but with modern cars and without the economic sanctions, and you’re pretty close. It has lots of old, beautiful but dilapidated buildings, lots of cobbled laneways filled to the brim with outdoor cafes and restaurants and bars, a hundred Cuban cigar stores (“Tabac Le Havana”), breath-taking mountain views across water filled with yachts, folk musicians playing bawdy French folk songs in restaurants, etc. I’m here with a terrific bunch of people, academics from around the world, scholars, musicians, and they are all wonderful, passionate, and hugely intelligent. I’ve spent many hours discussing Judaism, Israel, the Holocaust and the Palestine question with a party of Israelis scholars in their late 80s, who were alive during WWII, and I hope to get them recorded for the show before I leave.
We’re all staying up very late each night, drinking chestnut whisky, smoking Cuban cigars, in outdoor bars, debating religion, politics, history, art, you name it. I’m in my element.
Internet access is spotty though, so I’ve hardly been online and haven’t churned out any podcasts yet, but I hope to before I leave.