Julia Holman: julia.k.holman@atl.frb.org

("The Fed is rerouting all our internet email into the internal mail system, which probably means they're reading it. So please feel free to write politically incorrect and offensive comments.")
Osten Johansson: OSTENJOH@aol.com

[Yes, he has bought a modem]

Michaela Topolnik: topolnik@arcs.ac.at

("This is the one and only valid and working address. I hope to receive lots of mails !!!! (Promise to reply immediately). Greetings from Vienna ! Take care. Mischa")
Dear Stefan,

Should you choose to update the SIGHS page anytime soon, please include that I am having a post-Hanukkah party (fourth annual--tradition began in Bologna) on December 14 and everyone's invited: potato pancakes, matzo ball soup, rugelach, the works. (Just please RSVP by e-mail or phone so I can know how many more matzo balls to make!)

I moved into Lynne Taguchi's flat in March (1255 New Hampshire NW, #708), and have been working at the Center for Strategic and International Studies as associate editor of The Washington Quarterly since February. Also work part-time for Knight-Ridder/Tribune (KRT) Business News.

I finally got a Pentium at work and thus finally have Internet access from my own desk, and thus I finally contrived to find the SIGHS page. Had a great few hours reading all the past months' news; thanks for keeping everyone up-to-date.

Took a trip in October--my first paid vacation, which was a great realization--and played tour guide in London and Paris for a KRT friend. It was nice to get back across the Pond. Speaking of holidays, I shall be visiting Hong Kong and Thailand in April and would appreciate anyone's advice on where to go/what to see/where to stay, and if anyone will be in either locale I'd love to visit (and bring whatever they may be missing from the States, should that apply). If anyone reads this and will be there, please write to me--thanks!

Deadline approaches at work: my fourth journal, thus marking almost a year at CSIS. Difficult to believe I am still in Washington two-plus years on. Over Christmas/New Year's I'll be heading home to Orange County, Calif., for the first extended period of time since August 1994. At least "B-1 Bob" Dornan is no longer my Representative, or not for much longer.

Take care to all and have a Happy Thanksgiving and other happy holidays!

:) Monica

Hey all,

And praise to all of you that left DC upon graduation. I though I could stay (and did) and justified it to myself because being in America was exotic for me after all. Plus, I could make it and be a successful immigrant... wrong! So I quickly set in the routine and got a World Bank job like many others. Now that the winter approaches (remember last year?) I am dreaming of sun and tropical destinations...like Belize and piña coladas on the beach. I am thinking to give up all this development feel-good bull and trade in windsurfboards instead somewhere warm and friendly.

I am also starting experiencing my first withdrawal syndromes about Paris, yet once I go there (especially in the midst of mass demos like last year) I get sick of it too.

So this is a message in a bottle: am I experiencing a quarterlife crisis or what? And I am not getting married like many other Saisers.

Maybe it's time to split for more exciting destinations...like Kazakstan (Charles Clover is about to move there for 2 years but for the FT, not bad although too cold) or Guatemala (Josh Lichtenstein is there too and would seriously appreciate some e-mail and turkey I know so, his address is: Josue@guate.net)?

Should I start collecting coupons, play the lottery like every Latino in my hood or write to Ann Landers? Suggestions are welcome.

Finally, just because I don't want to sound like I'm sharing my existential torments with you guys (I'm fine really, the Bank is a great...bureaucracy!), I'd like to end with this Lebanese joke I just heard:

Two Lebanese women are chatting, one of them asks the other:
-So, what type of men are the best you think?
-Syrians, definitely!
-Why?
-Because once they get in, they never get out.

I know it's dirty, Stefan might censor. I have a Syrian joke in store for next time.

Bye then.

P.S.: Do you think that W. Christopher looks like a "severely depressed squirrel?". Just asking.

[A message from an 89/90 Bologna alumnus:]

Hi Stefan!

After many months of procrastination I have finally taken a first shot at creating a homepage for my class's newsletter, Piazza Maggiore (BC 89/90). I've got 1MB of space on compuserve's server and quite limited publishing tools, so the first (and only) page so far is a modest first step. You can find us here.

I've also linked to your default page. If you have any suggestions, templates, etc., I'd love to add more pizazz to the piazza. Any suggestions at all are welcome.

Thanks for the impetus. I look forward to your feedback.

Hello everyone- this is just a general g'day call to all of you out there, to say that I'm here in London and, as you may have noticed, I now have access to email (NLasagna@aol.com).

Well, to those I haven't spoken to in over a year here's the shocker: I'm getting married to Maria in July 1997. For anyone who is (or was) interested it's too late!!! My bachelor life is finally over (it wasn't that exciting anyway...).

I am back to being a student- a law student of all things! But I do have a job to go to after this- I found a law firm mad enough to pay for my studies and give me a job in 1998 in London. The firm is also opening an office in Milan and as you know Bologna is not too far..... tortellini al gorgonzola here I come....

Aygen is still here pretending to work at the EBRD and pretending to go on business trips to Bosnia/ Azerbaijan/ Macedonia etc- though I know it as a fact that he works for a holiday company that pretends to be a development bank.

I see a few SAISers every now and again- those who live in London (and there are many) and those who come by here from time to time (quite a few). The channel tunnel also helps, since we are only 3 hours by train from Paris and Brussels (the latter being a SAIS enclave in Europe).

I'm off to Italy in December for the winter break (life is hard as a student) and I hope to see you all soon if you happen to come to London.

Ciao ragazzi/e

A presto - Nick Lasagna

Please add to the list. Thanks.

Sophie Claudet: Sclaudet@worldbank.org

yet another Saiser part of the mafia.

I just wanted to change my address on the list since it is much easier to reach me at work on the following address.

marina.berg@foreign.ministry.se

Yes, I´ve got married, no longer Persson.

I guess you´ve heard that Joachim Alpen has started to work at the Foreign Ministry and that they have already sent him to Moscow??!! Two days ago Helena Gustavsson started at the Ministry as well!!!

Take care!

Marina

The elections have just ended here in the states, and my own state, Massachusetts has effectively denied itself any representation in Congress by electing all Democrats. Somehow, I think I should be upset by all this, but my brain is too addled by lack of sleep - a result of having to spend many of my days on European time making phone calls while still living on the Eastern seaboard. The consulting business requires that I get on the horn to Italy pretty much all the time lately, and some people in Italy just can't do business in the afternoon.

The payoff for all this was a brief weeklong swing through Northern Italy. I arrived at Linate, only to find out that there had been a strike of the public transport workers, who had blocked all of downtown Milan. As the Fiera Milano fashion show was underway, my hotel was full women in tight leather pants, flourescent green sweaters, and a multiplicity of body piercings.

The first presentation we had was in the affiliate office of an American biotech company. They were based in a palazzo downtown near the train station. Amie had told me that all I had to do was tell them my name, and that I could do no wrong after that. The fact that I also had to deliver a 3 hour market presentation in a language, although spoken by my ancestors, is not my mother tongue, made me a little more nervous than she. At any rate, the country manager walked in, we exchanged business cards, he looked at it, and exclaimed - "GUIDO SANDULLI!! But this is an ITALIAN name! After I revealed that the whole presentation was going to be in Italian, it appeared that Amie was right after all.

The second presentation was for a large Italian comapny based in Milan that had recently been acquired by a Swedish company. The presentation was in English, as the audience was made up of many nationalities, all of whom seemed to reinforce their respective national stereotypes. The Italians were unshaved, loud, and gestured with their hands frequently. A prim, very well dressed German women sat stone-faced taking notes. Then there was the manager - a Swede named Gunnar - who had very short cropped blond hair, fine features, and an incredible overbite. (this in no way is directed at our Swedish classmates)

After all this, I went to stay with my family in Torino. At the train station I was picked up by my cousin, who also managed to reinforce national stereotypes as well. He wore green pants, a blue buttoned-down shirt under his sweater, a leather jacket, sunglasses (at 8pm) and a cigarette. He was accompanied by his Sicilian girlfriend who had the obligatory dyed blond hair. It all made me rather nostalgic for the homecountry.

In other news, Amie is still in law school in D.C., Amy Berks is applying to law school, Chris Signorello is in law school, and Shawn Pompeian is applying to law school. Hey, I guess when you live in D.C. that's pretty much what you have to do (shudder). Netta is moving to London to help rich people to invest their money. I am considering a move to London, as it appears there will be some openings in our company's London office. Although it would certainly ensure my phone calls will be at a civilized hour, I'm not so sure about life on that silly island with bad food. I am still trying to track down Carrie Cullen Hitt, even though apparently she lives only blocks from me. Hope all is well,

My new E Mail permanent address is alrizzi@mbox.vol.it. Although I am still working as a short-term consultant for the World Bank, my old E Mail address at the bank doesn't work anymore.
It has been quite a long time since I've sent anything to the SAIS page. Partly that is due to problems accessing it from here, partly due to a lot of work, but, as always, mostly due to the fact that I'm just plain lazy. Go figure.

It is been almost 10 months that I've been here in Central Nowhere, which is hard to believe. Fall has set in and we've already had a couple snows. The government, in its infinite wisdom and constant poverty, has yet to turn the heat on. Luckily it really hasn't been too cold except for a few days here and there. On those days, everyone just puts on an extra pair of socks, drink lots of tea and snuggles with their favorite sheep. Oh, the humanity of it.

Work-wise things are going fine and I've got the chance to travel a bit which has been nice. However, most of the places I go to look much like Bishkek--crumbling concrete and trash everywhere, uncovered manholes (you know, I just noticed what a strange word "manhole" is--what a mental picture comes to mind if you think of alternative meanings for it in lieu of "heavy, round sewer cover"!!), and lots of brightly colored old women with gold teeth selling cigarettes, candy and nuts.

However, I did get the chance to visit Samarkand and Bukara which are ancient towns in Uzbekistan along the Silk Road. Both of them made for great weekend trips walking around the old streets, cruising the bazaars, checking the prices for animal products that would make you gag, and being stared at for being a foreigner. The first week of September I spent in the south of France with a friend of mine and his family, which was great. Lots of lounging by the pool, good wine, etc., etc. You know, southern France is a lot like Kyrgyzstan, only different. By the way, Turkish Airlines has direct flights twice a week between Istanbul and Bishkek if anyone is interested.

Business-wise things are moving along slowly. We have to weed through an awful lot of hair-brained ideas to find one good project to finance. The best recently was the sauna out in the main city in the east of the country. My first thought was that it would be very difficult to justify, but then I figured that saunas are really popular here, and lots of people out in that area don't have hot water, and what the hell, I had nothing much else to do while I was out there. I was thinking that maybe if the dollar amount was small enough and if it would be located in middle of the city and charge reasonable prices, maybe we could consider it.

Unfortunately, when we went to take a look at it, we headed OUT of town. About 20 minutes later, we turned off the main road and drove back farther and farther away from any people. Finally we reach this abandoned factory (that's redundant over here) with a long, battered building nearby. As we're waiting for some guy to show up with the keys, I start asking my local staff why in the world would anyone ever consider putting a sauna here. Of course, there's a great reason for it--it's in an obscure place because the people who come to it don't want to be seen since it will cater to corrupt officials (that's redundant here, too!), mafia people, other assorted shady characters and their girlfriends (i.e., hookers). I can see the report I would write now--Customer base: myriad lowlifes; Suppliers: local pimps; Raw Materials: assorted cremes, lubricants, french ticklers, lots of red lipstick and an unending supply of vodka. Well, you get the picture.

One project that we have approved involves financing a piece of medical equipment for hydro-colon therapy. This equipment flushes you out and will replace the current manual procedures, which I expect are particularly gruesome. The funniest thing is that the therapist who is buying it will use it as part of her holostic (i.e., crack-pot) treatment program. Her clinic also does acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal treatments, and cosmetic skin therapy. (I imagine she can even tell the future by reading the intestines of sheep or bumps on your head and things like that.) Thus, for anyone who comes for a facial, she advises that they start off with an internal cleaning, then have a massage so she can reposition your gall bladder or liver or something, and then, and only then, would she treat your face. Needless to say, there have been plenty of bad, sophmoric jokes based on this project.