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Gia-Gina Across the Pond

So I've decided to follow my husband to his native Italy. Follow our adventures as we eat, drink, travel, adapt to and explore this remarkable country. Part food blog, part photo blog but mostly my rants and raves. After our two years in Italy, we relocated across the Atlantic "pond" and are back in the States.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Quality of Life?

Everyone was so excited for me when I told them I was moving to Italy, in all truthfulness, I was excited for myself. I thought of the hills, the mountains, the food, the wine and one of the most fascinating cultures on earth.

Quasi-Italian is so popular in the US, on my first trip here, Deme’s family was shocked I knew about procuitto, buffalo mozzarella, risotto, bruschetta, how to cook al dente pasta etc… I explained to them that Seattle and many major US cities are in love with the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle and are imitating it. Americans love the food, the idea of long, lingering meals at the table, espressos, cappuccinos, operas, aria, Andrea Bocelli, and one of my favorites, good Parmigiano.

Now that I am here, I do get the benefit of the great food and some gorgeous scenery in the country but there are other things amiss. The wonderful quality of life I thought I was in for is seriously in question. Life in Italy has its advantages but disadvantages also and since I am on a rant, I’ll head straight for the disadvantages:

1. Parking is a total crap shoot. Cars find their way into tiny spots that are only meant for motorcycles and leave you climbing in via the trunk or hatch back to get to your steering wheel.
2. CD’s cost $25.oo each
3. DVD rentals cost $5-7 dollars a night each.
4. Gas is $4.00 a gallon or E 1.08 a liter.
5. I think I mentioned the proliferation of dog poop all over the streets, sidewalks and any patch of grass from here to the ocean.
6. Rent in the city is high, E 850.00-E 1200.00 for a small apartment; let’s say 800-1200 square feet. And to buy is outrageous; Turin is cheaper than Rome but Rome in almost on par with some places in California and New York.
7. The phone system is not like the US whereby you pay $29.99 a month and $.08 a minute to call to some other US destination. You pay for your minutes used, no matter where you are calling, local or long distance. Also another confusing side note, the phone numbers differs from 5-11 digits depending on where you live and how long your phone service has been hooked up.
8. Cell phone service is worse; there are no calling plans here. You either buy a pre-paid card or pay by the minute. An interesting feature is that you are not billed for call you receive, only ones you make. I try to remember that when I’m on the line.
9. Dry cleaning a man's shirt costs between E 3-5, and it is cheaper to dry clean a pair of pants than a shirt. Very strange.

Right now the only one who seems to be enjoying a better quality of life is the dog. His major decisions in the day are where to lie; on the floor in the sun, on the couch in the sun, on the bed in the sun or out of the sun completely. Now he enjoys a relaxing life with long walks, attention from strangers, he gets to dine at restaurants and travel in style. I should encourage him to start a blog.


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