Ok I finally have wifi that belongs to me and actually works… (Most of the time.) Since I’ve been here for 2 ½ months I’d thought I’d start off strong! I am going to thrill you all with the things I really don’t like about Italy. I figure I can bore you to death (And I will) with great pictures of all the cheese and pasta I am eating. Or show you the fabulous places am going and cool people I am meeting. Every blog you read about always says how great Italy is and what a great time they are having and on and on about how wonderful everything is, blah, blah, blah. I have plenty of time to do that! I would much rather start off in the Negativo. ‘Negative,’ for those of you who never tried to learn this fabulous language. As I am doing…
NOT! Italian IS the language of romance. And that, I can attest to. I love when some man comes strolling by and confidently expresses his, ????. Then tells me, ????, ??? ??????! I just stare at him like a moron because I can’t freaking understand him! But truly, I don’t care. He could be telling me that my ass is the size of Texas, my skin is crepe-y and I really should wash my hair. I wouldn’t know the difference and I wouldn’t care. It is beautiful to hear no matter what they are saying. And sexy. Which is (I guess) part of the reason I came here to learn Italian. I really wanted to converse with my Italian friends back home! But they have screwed me. NOT A SINGLE ONE told me how damn hard Italian is to learn! It is full of verbs. Lots and lots of verbs, a few nouns and even less pronouns. I am having to re-learn grammar that I forgot as soon as 5th grade was over. I have no fucking idea what a subjunctive reflexive is or how it is used. And… the teachers won’t help you remember, in English, at my school! Oh no! The teachers here prefer to torture you with the language that you came to learn! You are left to figure it out on your own… Ok, I am getting some of it ever so slowly, so I will let you know in a few month’s time how it’s going.
I am not a cold weather girl. I grew up in Northern Arizona where it is ‘sort’ of cold. We had snow a few months and it went as quickly as it came. In my childhood town, there were four season’s. That is always nice. Here, I missed spring and summer and what I consider fall. Here, Italians say that Autunno is much later than the states so I guess I hit it but now it is an ass kicking 30˚F. It is -1.111111˚in Celsius. You figure it out. I know that for those of you in the northern areas of the world 30˚ is not cold. To me past freezing is past freezing. I have grown ‘older’ and now have what I call Cali Girl blood. It’s thin and doesn’t like the cold weather. Neither does Shane. I can’t take him out for a walk because he looks at me (blindly) like I walked him into the arctic circle on purpose. I bought him a jacket but the straps that are supposed to fit around his hind legs ‘cramps’ his ‘blinddoggiestyle’ and he keeps trying to squat to take a shit. I think it is pinching his sphincter or rubbing something??? Which brings me to clothing, or lack thereof. I did not come here with warm clothes. I have NO warm clothes. I am from Southern California via northern Arizona by, Georgia… WE DON’T NEED WOOL COATS IN THOSE STATES!!! So, I am now spending my summer travel money on warmer clothing and heating my apt. (More on this subject in another post.) I keep trying to rationalize not buying a warmer coat because they are expensive and I will only need it for a few months, 3 at most, and then what? Put it on ebay? Craigslist? Along with the down comforter, towels, and mini heater??? I’m just going to drink more. This I can justify!
Speaking of ‘a lack of clothing…’ The women (girls) here insist on wearing short SHORT skirts in this weather! Seriously!? They don’t even wear tights. They wear patterned stockings (pantyhose?) and then wear a short jacket over it all. I have added some proof just for your giggling pleasure! It is fucking cold out gals! As my late father would say… Cover your chicken breast-esses.
I am walking around in the daytime like this:
Cammie, long sleeve t-shirt, shirt, cable knit sweater, 2 pairs of socks one long and one short, jeans, a jacket and hoodie, and my down vest, then a hat, gloves and looong boots. I can’t seem to find granny panties or I would wear those too. I am still a bit cold and I look just like the little brother from A Christmas Story, I can barely move.
The only thing I can figure is these gals are from Russia and it is summer vacation for them!
If you are wearing as many clothes as I wear you can’t see anything and this my friends is dangerous. This is due to traffic and crazy drivers. The traffic here is horrendous. Not just the people in cars but on the streets too. The streets are narrow and crooked and made of brick-like cobblestones. I love them but, they are not good for newby navigators. You MUST learn very quickly which roads are one way and which roads have the most traffic or you will be squashed like a bug. I have had a few close calls (walking around) with bicycles and scooters. Always scooters. The driver of said scooter will look at you like it is your fault they almost hit you. I have come to one conclusion and it’s the only one that makes sense. The Italian driver’s are not actually in charge of these machines. It is the machine in charge of the Italian driver. The Italian driver is just there for the sheer enjoyment of the ride. I have to give the drivers here some credit though… People here get where they are going and they make no apologies to any other driver, biker or walker.
Which brings me to… How no one and I mean NO ONE here says excuse me. NO ONE. I have been run off the sidewalk by a fellow pedestrian (male) while a city bus was barreling behind me and not even a concerned look back my way by said person. People here will stand in the middle of wherever you are trying to get to, look right at you and not move. They will walk into your line of site and not get out of the way or make an attempt to go around you when you clearly have the right of way. I can stand this, really I can. What I can’t stand is that NO ONE ever says excuse me! It’s even a shorter version here… ‘Scusa. Very simple. So, I am making it my mission to be polite and say the damn word. I especially like to say it to old people. Their eyes get really big and they actually say Prego back! They like it! And I always defer (on these little sidewalks) to the older people here. I see alot of rude behavior by teens with seniors. What happened to Italy having such a grand respect for it’s elders. I don’t see it. Maybe when it’s your Nonna and your Mama is standing right there? Mama’s here don’t have a problem giving a good yank or pinch to ill behaved kids, of all ages. No Dr. Spock bullshit here.
This brings me to two more topics of dis-like. My hair and Dog Poop.
My hair just looks like shit all the time. I love telling people that I have been a parruchiere (Hairstylist) for 20 years. Nobody believes me. It’s ok though. I know eventually it will warm up and I will be able to wash it.
So let’s talk about Poop. Quite honestly, it’s one of my favorite subjects because people hate to talk about it. But, I want to talk about Dog Poop. In the state of California, it is practically a federal offense to leave your dogs shit on the sidewalk, or anywhere else public. In Florence, attempting avoidance should be a national sport. I have been told several things about this particular subject…
My BFF (from Florence) told me that people here don’t care for dogs much. Not true. There are a lot of dogs here! And they are welcome! They are welcome in the restaurants, in the public markets, in the drug stores, the bars, just about everywhere you look there are dogs. And I think that’s great! I just wish the owners of these dogs would clean up after them. You don’t let your kid shit and not change [his] diaper, right? Right?? I am a responsible dog owner and I can’t figure out what is so difficult about putting a bag over your hand and scooping the poop. There is nothing like a steaming bag of shit to warm your hand on a cold day! Granted my dog is little, so his poop is dinky and not very warm but some of these people have Bull Mastiffs! That must be very warm!!! When I first came to Florence I noticed these piles around the city and asked my BFF’s parents about it. Apparently, there is a law to scoop yer poop, but it is not really enforced unless they (La Polizia) see your pal taking dump. The police here are pretty easy going and there is not a lot of crime so I guess this really isn’t a priority either. I spent my first few weeks always looking down for fear of stepping in [it] and finally realized that I was missing out on everything above me because of this. It didn’t happen on the sidewalk of the Via Reparata for God’s sake… Oh no. It happened while I was at the Piazza Independencia. Shane was looking for a place to bless the trees and I was so worried about his blind ass crashing into the trees that I failed to notice the fresh mountain right in front of me and “blessed” my boot. Oh well. In the famous words of Forrest Gump, “It Happens.”
Stay tuned for The Artists of Florence (The Women!) and more pics of me having fun…!
Also, At the time of this post I broke down and bought a fabulous red wool coat!!!!