Dear Dr. Hare,
happy New Year! I have to get straight to the point. Today the thought came up that I may move, at least for part of the year, to Geneva. Now I don’t know what to say: I have a splitting headache from the ‘polar vortex’ that reached Manhattan, and am completely confused by the extent to which the idea of eloping to Geneva speaks to me. I visited the Mont Blanc area several times but somehow never saw the snow-capped mountain itself. Obviously it must be around the corner from Geneva. Some people say the city is a boring place for UN-administrators, but they must be wrong. I’m upset and delighted at the same time, could this be a sortie from my current life? You see, I’m already practicing French: sortie, itinéraire de sauvetage, route royale! I’m a complete ignoramus as far as French is concerned, but some essential phrases are easily glanced from the web, and I keep clicking the little loudspeaker symbol to hear what it should sound like. Some bits seem really easy, like chocolat. Another great phrase: Ne me dérangez pas je suis profondément occupé. I almost feel good to go. When I don’t get what people say, I gather, I shall have to say je suis désolé, an essential phrase also for this very letter. I am more than sorry for not having kept in touch, let alone scheduled appointments, for a while. Any chance you would be free very soon?