Living here teaches you not to take things for granted

  • I moan a lot about Argentina, yet there's a lot to be said for not living in the so-called first world.

    • I fix a lot of things that I would otherwise have thrown away and get pleasure from that.
    • I count my pennies and do maths on what I can afford. which is a first.
    • When something goes right, against all known laws of probabilities, I'm ecstatic.
    • Small mercies, like a discount on anything, are very important
    • I rejoice when tolls (peajes) are all opened and free when drivers honk their horns loud enough.

    I know there are loads of other instances of appreciating the small things, which I do, but maybe others could chime in.

  • I appreciate that when I have to visit a public office, I won't be attacked by aggressive public employees and that I won't be accused or addressed with an accusatory tone because 'by default' you are considered a criminal trying to cut corners.


    I also appreciate that I am not discriminated for being a foreigner, which is something that has happened to me a number of times while I was in Italy. :cursing:

  • Just tonight, we were talking about people, including police, not being fixated on letter-of-the- law enforcement. I grew up in a place where you got a ticket if the front of your car extended an inch into the yellow line zone. Here, we saw a car being towed only after it was parked entirely in a yellow curb zone for the entire weekend.

  • I like the fact I have a Kiosco, bakers,butchers and mini supermaket all within a one minute walk from my front door just as most other people in this town do. You would never get that in a comparable sized town in the UK.


    The fact we do makes me suspicious though.

  • I appreciate that when I have to visit a public office, I won't be attacked by aggressive public employees and that I won't be accused or addressed with an accusatory tone because 'by default' you are considered a criminal trying to cut corners.


    I also appreciate that I am not discriminated for being a foreigner, which is something that has happened to me a number of times while I was in Italy. :cursing:

    You were considered a foreigner even after living in Italy your whole life, serafina ? What makes a person there a “real” Italian, having 6 generations of one’s family born there? Having a last name that ends in a vowel?


    To someone growing up in the New World, such a medieval kind of thinking surely must be considered an almost comical conceit on the part of “real” countrymen.

  • You were considered a foreigner even after living in Italy your whole life, serafina ? What makes a person there a “real” Italian, having 6 generations of one’s family born there? Having a last name that ends in a vowel?

    My German-looking face and my not-Italian last name. In Italy, you really 'read' the appearance of a person to find out where they come from. And the last name says it all. If it is a norther surname or a southern surname... it's a 'business card'. Some surnames are typical of certain regions. For example, you hear/read Macri/Macrì > Calabrian, you hear Mancuso > Sicilian, you hear Guareschi > Milan, a last name ending in -us > Sardinian, in -on/in > Veneto etc.


    When I was about 12 years old I was attending a summer camp run by the church (the only summer activity available in a small town like the one where I grew up). After Chernobyl they had this program where kids from Russia came to spend summer in with host families to 'detox'. I was placed in the Russian group a couple of times 8)

    They separated the Russian kids because they had an interpreter and language was an issue to explain rules of games, activities, songs.


    And once, I was about 16 y.o. and I was at a public health office to book an appointment to receive a subside. My mother had sent me because she didn't want to take a dat off work just to bring in some paperwork and take an appointment, but the lady at that office stared shuffling through my paperwork and said "Y'all come here to get free healthcare".... except that I could hear what she said and I told her "You said WHAT?! I am Italian FYI, you have my ID card showing where I was born, too" and she said that where I was born didn't mean a thing because immigrants have kids in Italy anyway. Then she started denying she said that remark entirely, but the office was empty, except from another clerk sitting in the back of the office. He heard EVERYTHING, and I said "your colleague over there heard it all... ask him" and the coward pretended he didn't hear and left. I think the lady was his boss.


    Before this situation and overwhelmed with a feeling of frustration and impotence, I broke into tears and run away. I called my mother from a public phone (no mobile phone for me back then) and told her everything and she said she'd take care of it. A few years later, I saw again that b***h and I told my mother it was her. But it was the official interview to get a subside, so it wasn't the right time to make a scene for something happened a few years ago and I still couldn't prove (unless that lady received more complaints like mine, but this kind of things take years to get taken care of anyway - it's not like in the US where they can fire you on the spot!).


    After a few years I moved back to my hometown to study, and I took the bus daily to the university. A lot of times elder people didn't bother to ask "Permesso" to let them pass to get off, they simply pushed because they assumed I wouldn't understand Italian anyway. To which, I yelled at them in the local dialect, but it was too late because I had already been judged/pushed. It was really annoying.


    When I visit Venice, shop assistants always approach me in English, which is fun :th_giggle01:

    When I travel in Italy with my husband, they always think I am the foreigner (and not him), so they speak to him almost exclusively. He spent most of his life in Italy and has an Italian surname, so it is not an issue.


    But yes, Rice, we are still in the middle age ^^ Which is why I'd never move back to Italy.

  • serafina

    Ur stories sound surreal!!!!!

    If stuff like that would have happened to me in my youth, I would have ranted the places and smacked their faces!!! Seriously!

    I think it's not correct to have an Italian avatar then..... hahaha

  • Suspicious of what, UK Man ?

    How most of these shopkeepers manage to survive in this day and age. I have to assume they 'fiddle the books', have very high profit margins and are protected in some shape or form. 50 years ago in the UK there weren't anywhere near the same number of independently owned shops operating.