Granted

So since visiting family in Italy for 2 weeks, I’ve decided to write about all the things that I take for granted living in the United States:

First thing is the food. “Scott, you’re crazy! How can the food in Italy be bad?” you’re probably thinking. It’s not that the food is bad (even though there is a lot of stuff I wouldn’t eat in my worst nightmares), it’s just that there is, believe it or not, no variety. Breakfast, for example, consists of cookies (no, no – make that biscotti) that taste like they’ve been sitting out for 3 weeks to ripen. Give me eggs, give me french toast, give me bacon, give me anything but a stale snack for breakfast every day for 2 weeks! Lunch and dinner were always the same: a plate of meat (usually prosciutto), some balls of mozzarella cheese, and pasta. The pasta on most days contained some kind of nondescript seafood. The one exception was the day they tried serving rabbit (I’m sure you already guessed that I didn’t eat it). I love pasta, but pasta everyday gets very very old. And I love seafood, but if it has eyes and a beak while it’s sitting on my plate, then forget about it. Of course, you’re not allowed to refuse something with a polite “No thanks, I don’t like cuttlefish that much” without a series of death-stares and “Mangia! Mangia!” from all of the natives at the table.

Another thing I take for granted as an American: quite. You know the stereotypical Italian family on tv? Everyone yelling at each other about the most inane and pointless things? Multiply that by 18 and you have half of what my Italian family is like. There were times at the dinner table that I swear everyone was just competing in a contest to see who can talk the loudest and longest. And the competition only gets more fierce as wine bottles become empty.

And it does matter where you live here, it is never quiet. You can live in the most remote part of town, but as soon as the lights go out and your head hits the pillow, the garbage truck comes (yes, late at night), and then the dog starts barking. And not just a regular dog bark, but an Italian dog that is most likely competing the same contest.

Showers. I never used to be bothered by water-pressure. I could take a shower under a dripping faucet and not complain – as long as I am clean. But here, the water will go from Niagara Falls to a dry river bed without warning. And not just the pressure, but the temperature changes too. One minute, you will be enjoying a comfortable, warm shower, and the next thing you know, you’re being shot at with ice crystals. But before you have time to reach for the faucet to adjust the temperature, you’re being boiled to death in an upright glass coffin.

I admit, “coffin” doesn’t accurately describe the size of the shower. I should have said “coffin for a Chihuahua puppy.” I don’t need a lot of room to shower, but it would be nice to move my hand without punching the wall. And if you drop the soap, forget bending down to retrieve it, unless, of course, you want to shut the shower off and step out.

See my blog postings for more things to add to my list…

Published on August 25, 2008 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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