My First Year in Italy
The end of February marks my first year in Italy. So many things have happened, so many things have not happened, so many things have yet to happen, my journey is in no way complete. “A very wise friend here in Torino, who is blonde and works in opera, (hint, hint), once said to me, “We live here and don’t we owe it ourselves to TRY, and make life livable and enjoyable?” My answer is a resounding “YES.” And so I have put my nose to the grindstone to improve all the things I can, and deal with the ones I can’t in a “Don’t-let-it-Drive-you-Crazy-Way.”
Things I love about Italy:
-little family run shops on every corner
-coffee is made really fast
-when someone says “cara” to me when I enter their shop. “Cara” means “sweetie”. Usually older women say this.
-my bread shop and pastry shop will let me pay another day if I don’t have enough money
-the automated video store
-flower stands at every corner
-my friends and in-laws
-my dog is allowed everywhere and I am credited with his great behavior
-the convenience of having a custode-someone that takes care of your building. She bring up packages, has an extra key and keep the place spic and span, not to mention doggie sits and cat sits for us.
-real Italian food
-I like being called Signora
-when grandparents pick up their kids from school
-the variety in the different regions of Italy
Things I don’t love about Italy: (this list keeps getting smaller):
-pedestrians have no rights
-when people ask me if I am really American because I have Chinese eyes
-when people pull their eyes into slits to demonstrate they know what Asian eyes look like, as if I did not know.
-too much honking
-customer service can be very bad
-many things are more expensive that in the U.S. like appliances
-shops close to early and are not open on Sunday
-too many rules and regulations
-too much taxation
-long lines at the doctors’ office
Things I miss about the U.S.:
-Whole Foods-a grocery store chain and their giant homemade cinnamon/pecan buns
-Uwajimaya-a great oriental grocery in Seattle
-my family, my friends
-20/20, Dateline NBC and Jeopardy
-the 4 parking spaces I had right in front of my house
-the drive thru pharmacy at my drug store
-the dog park
-the conservatory at Volunteer park
-super clean streets
-great public parks that are well taken care of
-wonderful outdoor trails, managed by a fantastic park system
Things I don’t miss about the U.S.:
-the threat of guns in road rage incidents
-the “go-go” lifestyle
-the rain and mist of Seattle
-too much fast food all over the place
I am sure I am leaving something out but for now. I think this is it. I still miss the US but am liking my life here more and more. Is it Zen time?
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