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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.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Things about Italy and Turin/Torino II

1. There is a lot of American Music and television here in Italy, right now I’m watching MTV Italia and am listening to Jay-Z and Linkin Park. Occasionally they mix in some Italian artists but about 80% of the music videos are in English.

2. There a few international channels in the apartment. A German channel, CNN, BBC and even a Chinese channel but they have only spoken Mandarin so far. I’m still waiting for some old school Cantonese Kung-Fu. There is also a home shopping channel that pushes gaudy jewelry and misc. junk, just like at home. I often think of Italy as an old school/traditional culture/society. Part of that is true but they are very modern/commercialized also. With T.V. astrologers, Dolce and Gabbana baby carriers, plasma screens, more varieties of cars than in the U.S. and much more. Today I saw an advertisement for a little device that exercises your muscles while you watch TV, tan or read. It reminded me of the muscle stimulation machine that Bruce Lee used in the 70’s and 80’s.

3. Nobody here has a clothes dryer; they hang laundry out of their balconies 365 days a year. Deme says in Rome the weather is always pleasant and they don’t need dryers. Still I told him I don’t see waiting 3-4 days for my favorite pair of jeans to dry. Also appliances here tend to me small and they take larger items like blankets to the Laundromat or drycleaners.

4. Dishwashers are not out of the question but rare.

5. It costs 1 Euro, that $1.30 to use a shopping cart at the supermarket, if you bring the cart back though; you get your money refunded. Also cashiers in supermarkets do not bag your groceries. They ask you how many bags you would like then expect you to bag them yourself.

6. People on the street look at me with side glances but when they speak to me, they somehow know I am American. Most are very friendly and helpful, esp. with directions.

7. There is a strange traffic policy in Turin. Every week there are rules governing who can drive their cars. On Wednesdays, cars with even numbers in their license plates are not allowed on city streets from 8 am to 7 pm. The same goes for cars with odd numbered plates on Thursdays. On certain Sundays, to be announced on TV and in the newspapers, no cars at all are allowed on city streets from 10 am to 6 pm. This Sunday we will go for a drive in the country just to get around this rule and to eat in a town called Bra, near Barolo and Barbaresco, for my birthday. These rules are in place to limit congestion and pollution, I can’t tell is they are a hindrance or environmentally responsible yet. It may take a few months for the impact to really hit me.

8. Toilets flush on the wall or on a button that sticks out from a tank above the toilet but there is no tank behind the bowl like I’m used to.

9. Elevators are small, usually only three adults can fit in one at a time. The one in our residence apartment say 240 kg is the max weight. I think that is about 528 lbs. Let’s see.. That means each person much weigh 176 lbs or less.


At 7:34 PM, Blogger Gia said...

OMG I guess I hadn't been here in about a week. It all sounds so wonderful. Having a little dog in Italy sounds perfect!! Know that I am GREEN with envy.

Your Sis (the perfect birth),

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gina!, its so much fun to visit your blog and catch up on your new life in Turin!! We are thinking of you because it is alrady your b-day where you are so...HAPPY BIRTHDAY (32!!!) WOW. We miss you alot and sophie can't wait to see you in April.
We love you and we Miss you!!!
Love the Daudons

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