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Washington City Paper: What’s your name?
Francesco [surname withheld]: Francesco [surname withheld].

How old are you?

You are a young man.
I was an even younger man some years ago.

What are your thoughts about Washington, D.C.?
I have never been to Washington, D.C….but I want to live in the USA. I was living in London for 1.5 years.

Do you like hot dogs?
I love hot dogs. In London, I eat a hot dog once a week. And a Guinness.

Would you like a half-smoke?

What is it?
[Your correspondent, with the help of a American traveling companion, explains the nature and origins of half-smokes. Your correspondent’s traveling companion wonders whether either she or your correspondent, both Washingtonians, really know what a half-smoke is.]

I don’t know. I have to see it to know if I eat it.

But does it sound appealing?
The question is stupid…If I say “Yes,” I’m gonna be a liar. It’s like if I ask you, “What do you think about Naples?” but you’ve never been to Naples. What are you gonna say? The mafia? [Author’s note: your correspondent has been to Naples, and he does associate it with the mafia.]

What do you think about when you think about Washington, D.C.?
A big city. Like New York, Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas. I want to live in Las Vegas. I am a bartender. Las Vegas is the house of bartenders.