Apart from being a life changing experience (who would have imagined I’d become THIS obsessed with pesto?!) and making me love a city a full 98%, I have to admit that living in Italy still has it’s grievances which make up the remaining 2% that I don’t love about it. I guess it’s just things I’m not used to, but I can’t fight off the urge to laugh sarcastically anytime something like stated below happens, but then again maybe it’s just me. Alora, I will write down just a couple of “ups and downs”, in no particular order, of the dream-come-true of living in Italy:
1. It is literally (at least in the very center, which is where I live) way too crowded with people and students from all over the world, so italian is just like a 30% of the languages that you hear while walking on the street.
But good enough, most italians that work at the stores do not really speak other languages very well, so that’s one opportunity to practice your Duolingo knowledge.
2. I’ve found the most succesful way to spot an italian in 2 easy ways:
a) Their hair looks like this:
IKR! Obviously it’s not aaall the guys that wear this hairstyle, but maybe 99% percent of them. From 8 year old mini italians (they also rock the leather jackets and scarfs while sporting their mini mohawks) to 30-something, you’ll see them all like this: super short on the sides, and a way too long -for my preference- and wider kind of mohawk.
b) Either it’s a man or a woman, you just choose the person you want to guess, and here’s the genius part… You just walk straight into them. A foreigner will surely move to the side before you bump face-to-face into each other, but an italian? NUH-HUH, my darlings. They prefer to apologize -“Scusa”- for getting late somewhere, than for breaking your shoulder in the middle of the street.
3. Coffee is life.
Literally. Not only wine. And not the french way of café where it’s just a restaurant on the sidewalk, but the actual drink.
Want to meet up? Let’s have un caffè.
During the afternoon? Caffè.
After class? Caffè.
Gotta settle down some project ideas? Let’s do it while we go drink some caffè.
It’s the evening and I don’t want to go home, let’s do something. Sure, caffè.
Which in a way I like, but in the other hand, I prefer my coffee with sugar and it never is served like that here. So I guess that’s an obvious way to spot a foreigner: the one discreetly pouring down like 5 spoons of sugar on his Americano, taking a handful of packages from the counter, or the one sitting on a table. Yup. It is strictly italian to have your cafe by the bar, and it’s a come and go situation. All the cafes charge for table, so unless you’re going to eat something, it’s better to just stand.
4. I’m not bothered by car noises where I live.
YET, I am woken up every morning by the loud *ss bells of the cathedral and other churches, because it seems they just decide to hit it in unison and be the city’s own personal alarm. When you’re visiting for the first time, it’s always beautiful to hear them, but when they do it remorseless at 7 AM… I don’t think you would go Aahh.. about it again.
On that note, this does not mean that I want to move further away from the churches at all. Being in the center would suck for someone that’s looking for a quiet place, but that’s not the case for me. I mean, I leave my house 5 minutes before class and still get there early, okay? PURR-fect.
5. Gelato is heaven.
You thought the “italian gelato” stores they’re bringing to your country are good? Pssssss, nothing compared to the real deal. Trust me.
6. This is the first time I’m actually interested in History classes.
I’ve said this so many times… How do you not get inspired in a place where everyone is? It’s just impossible to be that stubborn and not learn about art history while living in one of its nests. Everything makes sense now! I’m sorry I sound so dumb, but I really do feel special now when I look at a building and I can pick out its style, or recognize from which period did some art piece come from. Have you ever heard someone say that today’s education sucks because it’s forced? It is, when you’re not interested in what they’re trying to teach you. You can change that.
7. I prefer the americanized version of pasta and pizza over the original one.
OUCH, don’t hit me yet! I know you might think that that was the most stupid, ignorant and ungrateful statement you’ve ever heard, but dude, let me explain you why in a simple mathematical way:
Girl + Caribbean + Hot Weather = Spicy/seasoned food = Strong flavors
Americanized pizza = thick dough + lots of cheese + processed tomato sauce (tomato + spices) + pepperoni (or whatever you want) + cheese-filled edges
Italian pizza = dough as thick as a sheet of paper + some cheese sprinkled on top + raw tomato sauce + the closest to pepperoni you can get is sausage, or salamino piccante
Yeah, italians barely ever say “Capisci?” or capeesh like the american mafia movies made us think. It means “understood?”
Americanized pasta = soft textured pasta + a LOT of sauce (well seasoned) + a substantial amount of meat
Italian pasta = pasta al dente (meaning firm to the bite, aka a little ‘uncooked’ for what I’m used to) + enough sauce (naturally cooked) + not enough meat.
And this in conclusion means only two things, my friends: 1) Yes, it’s way healthier over here, but over a pizza that tastes like olive oil and another one from Pizza Hut, you know which one I’ll choose; 2) I won’t get fat!
So while I’m dancing like this around my studio over the last fact stated above, freezing under “fairly warm” european temperature and doing some sketching homework, you can disagree all you want, unless you haven’t been in Italy yet. And also, I’m sorry for taking so long. Homework and getting adapted to a new city don’t go by hand with blogging. More updates coming up the way, I promise!
Love, love, love you all!