I am getting ready to head back to the States for a while, and it has me thinking about things I miss about home (besides the obvious career and friends thing). Conversely, I also think about the things that I like and are different about Italy. For your reading pleasure, I have complied a list! None of this is in order, mostly it’s just train of thought.
Italy- Here is what’s different:
- Electricity costs different amounts during the day, at night, and on weekends, so one must plan their laundry accordingly (especially if you are lucky enough to have an American dryer).
- Can’t run more than one appliance at a time- good luck doing your laundry in the evening while you try and use the oven!
- Riposo- most small shops close daily from about 12:30-3:30, so plan your day around this fact. I really like this idea and it does not bother me at all to know that I need to do whatever before or after. I think Americans could learn from a leisurely lunch hour or two.
- Parking the car is a free for all- I mean, why else would the sidewalks be extra wide without a big curb if not to encourage parking on them?
- Speaking of cars, people say that the drivers here are crazy, but I disagree. I think Italians in general are better drivers than most Americans. Yes, they are aggressive, but you don’t see anyone texting while eating a burger and putting on their makeup. I feel safer riding my bike on the streets here than I do on Longboat Key…
- Which leads me to bike culture- everyone rides bicycles here. Everyone! Little kids on the back of mom’s bike to grandmothers riding with umbrellas in the rain. Drivers treat bicycles like cars, bicycles generally act like cars, and sharing the roads works. Also, can I point out that some of the Italian women can successfully rides their bikes while sporting four inch heels? Amazing.
- Fashion- you do not see Italians in yoga pants or gym clothes unless they are at the gym. Love this. Americans can take a lesson for sure… People of Wal Mart can ya hear me now?!
- Produce at the grocery store- do not even think about grabbing your apples or tomatoes without putting on a disposable glove, and then weighing and tagging your purchase. I love this too- less chance of disgusting grimy hands all over my stuff! Just remember if you go to the small produce stands you must tell the shopkeeper what you want and they will get it for you.
- Bagging your own groceries at the store. I hate this because I always feel like I am too slow and I hold up the line. Ah well.
- Paying for the bathrooms- most public bathrooms charge 50 cents or a Euro. I don’t mind this either, because it means that they tend to be clean (er).
- Roundabouts. Not a lot of stoplights here, just merge in and go around. Love it.
- Utility bills- they don’t come every month. Or every two months. Or on any predictable schedule. Super annoying for those of us who do not understand “budgeting.”
America- What I am looking forward to:
- Internet that works consistently, as well as not having to use an unblocker all the time. Also, can’t wait for LTE again- I miss voice texting!!
- Summer Kale Salad from Whole Foods. Drooling just writing about it.
- Salad in general. Salad bars, bags of salad, the ability to order a giant salad at a restaurant. Tired of making my own. Waah waah.
- Ordering fish at a restaurant and not getting a whole fish on the plate.
- Social athletic groups. Bike groups, run groups, Masters swim, Ignite 360/Def Fit… Working out is lonely here.
- Craft beer and beer bars. Wine is great but sometimes you just need a fancy cold beer.
- Lastly, I am looking forward to less smoking. It grosses me out to be taking a sip of cappuccino at the exact moment when someone exhales their smoke onto your table.
So there ya have it.. Saturday morning musings while I wait for my laundry to finish 🙂 Here are a few mug shots of people that I can’t wait to see that happen to be on my phone. There are more of you for sure!!