Subject: Language learning
I have found that anything more than a few words of courtesy (thank you, please, etc.) are pretty useless, unless you are fluent. When you are able to say Where is the Louvre? someone will answer you, rapidly Oh, it's just a couple of streets up that way and then turn right when you get to the antique store with the really big suit of armor, or something to that effect. It's really easier to just say Louvre???? and have someone point. My efforts to learn Italian, ongoing for more than 10 years, have helped me greatly in Italy, but I still have plenty of trouble with native speakers and their rapid fire Italian.

Callie in New Orleans