Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dear Dr. Bernanke:

I was just reading an article about you in the International Herald Tribune that said you are a consensus builder and, therefore, are slow to change interest rates.

It would be nice if you could do just a little something to strengthen the dollar, which has fallen steadily since I left the US. I kept mum in Israel, where prices are a bit cheaper, thinking that maybe the situation would turn around by the time I arrived in Europe, but in Italy the dollar's weakness is truly upsetting me and causing me to put on the kilograms. Why? Just about the only snack I can afford is a single scoop of gelato (it costs "just" one euro; the only other things I can get for one euro are: a McDonald's hamburger, a bottle of water, a coffee, or a visit to a public toilet, which is required if I drink enough coffee or water). If my current gelato consumption continues for the next few weeks I am going to turn into a cow, which will seriously impair my ability to attract a mate. Loneliness will follow, not to mention extravagant bead buying to distract me from my situation.

See what you've done?

But I don't want to sound too selfish. There are lots of other tourists here who would also be thrilled to see the dollar move in a different direction, and the Italians might not mind either. At least then the Americans could help the Venetian shopkeepers unload some of their excess inventory. I don't think I have ever seen so many stores with so many goods in them; it is kind of unsightly. I am trying to do my part but, to emphasize, I can only do so much when a stupid little euro is costing nearly $1.40.

Thanks for your attention.

Oh, by the way, should I decide to buy a house could you make sure that interest rates are low? This might mean the reversal of whatever you do to strengthen the dollar but I know you can do it!




Polly Kienle said...

Dear Ilona,
Keep eating those gelati! Seriously. Most of the fruit flavors are ice-based. They can be consumed without much worry, especially since you are walking around. Many ice-makers use all-natural ingredients, plus a few syrups or the like. The other flavors are milk- of cream-based. But by no means are they as creamy and thus fattening as New England ice cream, which is a tribute to our region's dairy-farming past (and to the excessively sugar-sweet American sweet-tooth). I raised two skinny kids on at least one scoop of the Italian stuff daily during the warmer parts of the year. (In Konstanz, a scoop still costs 60 cents.) Enjoy!
I hope your cold has improved.

I-is-for-Israel said...

Umm...I haven't been eating the fruit flavors...too healthy! And I swear the gelato I had in Bologna was intensely flavored pure cream...but thanks for the encouragement. Mangare!