As time is gradually passing here with my new expat life, I’m starting to pick up a few things. I know the best combination of gelato flavours (close toss up between mandarin and chocolate and grapefruit and pistachio), I’ve learnt if you want anything you’re pretty much going to have to queue for it (especially if it’s the world’s best panini EVER) and I know never to order a mojito unless I want to die a slow death.
You know, the important things.
Yet what I’m also starting to realise, is that the Italians can find my… let’s say, English ways oddly disconcerting. In fact, I’m starting to worry that they just find me downright crazy.
And I try, oh how I try, to fit in with their ways of living, their traits, their cultural differences. But, as
my totally made up the old saying goes, you can take a girl out of Southampton…
Granted, there are many reasons the people of the world would find me bat shit crazy; my unhealthy love of Disney, my constant need to live life like a musical, my hideously laddish tendancies… to name a few.
But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What is it the Italians find so damn crazy about little English Amber?
1) The way I eat my food
We all know that the Italians love their food; and they have a VERY clear set of rules on how you should eat it. You know, they love a good set of courses. Me, however? I prefer to just stick it all on my plate at the same time. Doesn’t matter if the tastes are miles apart… nah, my brain doesn’t work like that. Instead it goes, “Pasta? Good! Aubergine? Good! Brie? SO GOOD!” Now don’t get me wrong, I love the attention they put into their food… and I notice it immediately when eating out. But when cooking my own meals? Not so much. Note to self: this might simply be a “Fat bitch Amber” trait rather than an English one…
2) How much of a lightweight I am
Again, we know the Italians love a good glass of wine. Jeez, they were brought up with it! Somehow, their tolerance is just so much higher than mine. And don’t even get my STARTED on the cocktails! Long story short = two drinks here and I’m a hot mess. WHY IS EVERYTHING SO STRONG?! RIP ability to date like a normal human being.
3) I walk absolutely everywhere
The second I tell people I walk just under an hour to work, they honestly look like they’ve seen a ghost. “What’s wrong with you?” “That’s criminal” “You’re insane” are just a few of the gems I have heard as a result of telling them. Okay sure, it doesn’t help that the thought of getting on a bus here scares the living daylights out of me (their drivers are FEARLESS), but still! I LIKE WALKING! Unlike most of y’all I don’t have perfect genes that allow all the carbs on carbs on carbs to fall off me. Some gal’s gotta walk to work off that junk.
4) I carry teabags around with me. Everywhere. Forever.
I LOVE TEA. There, I said it. And I adore milk in my coffee. AND I LIKE BIG MUGS FULL OF STEAMING HOT COMFORT. This is, without doubt, the area that needs the most work in my quest to take on the Italian lifestyle. I will never be a true Italian until I can throw back a thimble of black coffee without wincing. One day my friends… one day.
5) I adore planning and structure and lists and going to bed at 11
No one here seems to understand that I plan my week about a fortnight in advance (how else you gonna make the most out of your evenings ay?). And they don’t get that if it’s Thursday at 11pm, chances are I’m sat in bed in my Disney pjamas with a turby towel on my head and a cuppa in my hand #singlegirl4lyf.
Alas, I persevere. I pray that one day, these beautiful people will embrace me as one of their own, rather than a bizarre little alien singing “Let it go” to herself as she skips down the street.
But then again, what the hell!