Parc d’Osseghem

March 08, 2013-ParkTheatre-2469
The Parc d’Osseghem is the park near the Atomium.  The open air theatre itself was designed by Jules Buyssens.  It holds about 3,000 people and hosts concerts and other performances during the summer.  The row of neatly trimmed bushes lead your way from the street in front of the Atomium.

March 08, 2013-ParkBushes-2464


This morning we had to get our Permesso di Soggiorno.  The trip took nearly an hour, on the metro and bus to a far northern part of the city.  The whole process seemed very relaxed, but we were lucky and able to skip the line due to our ‘privilege’ of being students.  Many of the people in line were immigrants looking for a new life in Rome.

In my Organized Crime class, we had a guest lecturer come in and speak about the corruptness of the world’s finances.  It was an interesting and different perspective about tax havens and corporate loopholes to avoid taxes that has ultimately lead to many of the economic issues in the world today.  He is a member of an organized aiming to reduce the illicit and illegal activities.  Our professor and the speaker helped to explain the extreme power that banks also have on countries economies, and why they have also contributed in the economic struggles due to their sheer size.

One of the most interesting parallels he made was about tulip bulbs.  Many years ago, tulip bulbs were highly regarded by a king.  Due to this, many people saw their value increase so they began to purchase a lot, expecting a return on their investment.  The price skyrocketed, and while people eventually realized that a tulip bulb should not be worth 200 cows, the market was already ruined.  This paralleled the housing crisis the US went through, as well as many aspects about the current stock market.

Exciting times coming in the Vatican tomorrow.  The Conclave to select a new Pope will begin in the afternoon.  I’ll be sure to swing by to maybe catch some white smoke..

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