I recently received the following email from a friend in Germany:
After reading your blogs on Dinners in Germany it occurs to me, that you should invest time in considering whom you will dine with. It amuses me to read about the weirdoes you always seem to run into; it disturbs me to think that your friends may believe you don’t know any at least semi-normal people in Germany.
SO this is what happened at the next dinner: I made the mistake of asking the friend I sat next to whether she read my blogs. Nein, she said and told me that she does not read my blogs because she was “really not interested in either the Vatican or Israel... in fact nobody is interested in Israel.” I should write about Geld oder Sex to get her attention, she said.
The next day, the papers reported that the Italian authorities had sequestered money transfers from the Vatican bank on suspicion of money laundering. I daren’t call this friend to find out whether writing about tthe Vatican bank counts as Vatican or as money.