Things you should know about stuff you don't care about
If you are ever in Italy and manage to work your way in to the home/heart/bed of a local, there are a few things you should know.
Do not count on common sense or civic familiarity when acessing simple indicators as sidewalks,traffic lights,large multi-generational families eating gelato...They are not your friends!!! People idle on the sidewalks and walk in the streets. Some cities have not much in the way of safe pedestrian passageways. Generally any place you find a walk way you find a glut of motorini and piles of feces that question ostentatiously " Was that left by a dog or a donkey?".Please also note, signs such as "walk,yield, stop, one way street" are looked upon as oppressive and somehow linked with capitalism,fascism,nazism,america, the white devil, poverty in Africa, Osama bin Laden, Mickey Mouse, Betty White and the Devil himself. They are frowned upon or rebelled against outright.
A four way stop is like an experiment in social darwinism.
Though free in the streets Italians are otherwise quite regulated. There is a specific time and a place for everything-unless you are in Vatican City and there is never time for pre-marital sex,gay-marriage,spilling of seed outside a woman's fecund womb, Betty White,You Can't Do That On Televsion, corn on the cob-due to it's un-holy implications...but I digress.Oh and Alan Thicke. The Pope hates Alan Thicke. Someone must have told him he was a jew or muslim or something like that.
Yes, for an Italian, to eat eggs in the morning or to do things when conventions dictate otherwise would be a mistake, an act against the Pope and somehow a silent vote for homosexuality. Here is a sample conversation between Enzo and I
ME : "Hey it's lunchtime, let's go now, no one will be there"
ENZO: "But it's lunchtime".
And so it has been for years.
Always wear shoes. To walk barefoot in the house is an equal offense to, lets say, pedophilia or exposings ones' genitals to strangers. Italians are totally freaked about bacteria transference, but drink shelf stable milk and don't refridgerate eggs.Go figure
Always blow dry your hair. ALWAYS!!! This is one of the major canons of being Italian.Leaving the house with wet hair in the middle of summer is still frowned upon. Somehow wet hair is associated with the Black Plague and is not tolerated under any circumstance. My natural abberation to the hair dryer has earned me the nickname "Donna Rana" or frog woman because I am perceived as green and amphibious
After a relationship with this country that spans nearly a decade, I still revel in the subtle differences.Leonardo, one of my roommies comments on my constant laughter. Well, yeah, DUH of course I am laughing. Here I can totally surrender to my role as observer. People are pretty funny,ecclectic, boring, beautiful,grotesque,smelly and self possessed in the most unique ways. We all seem to think we are snowflakes, and guess, to some degree, we are...but in the immortal words of this horrible drunk I saw trying to pick up a very un-impressed black girl
"Come on baby, you know we are all pink on the inside".