Ciao a tutti,
I just have to tell you, living in the land of carbs, men and wine isn’t all spaghetti and rainbows, it can be a really frustrating experience for a few overall reasons:
1. Italian Bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a huge problem in Italy, where there’s a different policy for every situation, and a missing form will get you sent right back to the end of the line. If you want to go to the post office, book-off the morning.
2. Illogical is the social norm. In most countries, whether you’re in line for a coffee or trying to find a parking spot, it’s commonly known that you have to wait your turn. In Italy, it’s every man for himself and if you’re not willing to jump the queue you’d better get on that plane and go back home. I can also never figure out if I have to pay before or after drinking my coffee at a bar.
3. Punctuality is not a “thing” in Italy. It’s not uncommon for most Italians to be “fashionably late” but I’ve also encountered many who haven’t had a second thought about being 30 minutes to an hour late for an appointment …
4. There are no apparent driving regulations. You can cross whenever you want, but you’ll always get honked at. No one knows who’s right of way it is and stop signs are optional. Once, I almost got hit by a scooter; I was on the sidewalk.
5. Parking. Sadly, Italy’s beautiful, narrow, cobblestone cities don’t leave a lot of space for parking lots or garages, and everyone and their grandmother drives. This results in a chaotic and lengthy parking ritual where people end-up parking wherever they want.
6. No one takes credit cards. Ever. #northamericanproblems
7. La bella figura. The endlessly confusing Italian Social code is always breaking my balls. For example, even though it’s over 30’C in Sicily, it’s still the beginning of May and therefore socially unacceptable to wear open-toed shoes or skirts or dresses. What!? My legs are suffocating.
6. Absolutely everything is closed between 3:00-4:30pm. And if you want to sleep in on Sunday, make sure you don’t have to do groceries before the supermarket closes at 1:00!
8. Public transport. Forget the country’s obsession with cars, probably the number one reason for all the parking and traffic problems is the country’s lack of public transport. Notoriously unreliable and inconvenient, one blogger suggests we “give into the reality that public transport workers have zero interest in getting you [to where you want to go]”. I LOL’ed.
Every once in a while, the Italian paradox(es) gets to you. It’s like a higher power said “this country has amazing food, beautiful people and landscapes. It’s not fair for the rest of the world, so I’ll add in some serious inconveniences.”
I’ll just eat Gelato and think about the things I love about Italy until I forget about these problems!