I love Italy! I am fascinated by its roots, history, culture and customs. The landscape is unique and people very friendly. I took Latin at school and recently learned Italian. Each time I travel there the experience is unforgettable. Most people don’t know how strong ties between Poland and Italy are. Everything started in AD 966, when we received “baptism” from Rome and continued through italian fight for independence in XlX century, when Polish commanders and soldiers help them establish the new country. During WWll Polish troops took abby on Monte Cassino from Germans to open the route north for Allies. There is even a mention of Italy in Polish National Anthem.
For last three years I am following a blog written by an American woman, who just about then relocated to Italy. She lives in Florence and her almost daily posts about italian customs, shops, museums and a way of living there are fascinating. Next to Rome, Florence is the city probably with most of history and art objects pertaining to Western culture. I enjoyed, and still do, all her stories about local events in Italy.
But recently she visited US and wrote, how foreign she feels in the country of her birth. There are differences in a way of living and she doesn’t like, what she sees in the US. Here are the reasons in order of mention:
– air conditioning is too cold,
– no sparkling water in restaurants and in markets, and if found, is much cheaper in Italy,
– too big water glasses in restaurants and with too much ice in them,
– beer too cold,
– comment about trees, which I don’t understand whether she likes them or not,
– electrical wires above the ground,
– not enough sidewalks,
– big cars and cheap gas, so we shouldn’t complain,
– no kissing by friends,
– yard work,
and so on and so on.
She also found out there is prejudice (her family was in Tennessee, so it was “expected” in the South ), but also mentioned prejudice against her in Florence, since she is not Italian. Then she admits feeling as a person without country, and that must hurt.
We can comment on every single point of complain, but I don’t feel this is necessary. It strikes me they are very minor and petty. All her problems can be solved, amended or adapted to. There are a lot of changes going on in the US since 9/11 and her not seeing it is a tragedy. With all the attempts to reweave fabric of this country, change the structure and stretch the Constitution, too cold A/C and too much ice in water are non-issues. And to become an ex-pat because of them is ridiculous. Unless you have a need to justify your decision to yourself and to your friends since you are not sure of it being right and still looking for reasons to reinforce it. I did move from one country to another and I see this mentality quite often amongst people in my situation. Person doesn’t put down one country to elevate the other. What about being blessed with two places to live and appreciate good and exceptional qualities in both? Having the best of two worlds? Sometime one has to come back to place he was born be it by choice or necessity and then it hurts. I’ve seen it too.
I hate to act as a psychologist, but can’t help the feeling there might be some other issues involved.
This is a great country and I am proud to be a part of it. But of course is not for everyone. One can come and go anytime he wants, providing that laws are respected. I’ve seen the other system and it doesn’t work.