Home stories Conditioning


written by M.E. Evans February 14, 2013

I notice the root of my way of thinking, my way of acting, my way in dealing with problems the longer I live here. Now, I have something to compare it to. I’m getting ready to apply for my husbands Greencard and the way that I approach the situation is so different from the way he approaches it. Maybe it’s cultural, maybe it has more to do with upbringing, or personality type, but whatever the culprit, the differences are there.

According To Francesco, All Workers Are Incompetent.

I hopped online and found the needed forms, filled them out on my computer in Adobe, and saved them to my desktop. Then I called the Embassy and asked them where I take the papers, etc. They told me just take them in during business hours in Naples. As far as I was concerned we are good to go.

Francesco does not think we are good to go. In fact, he’s asked me every other day to call the embassy again. “In case they don’t know what they are talking about, in case they are confused, or in case the website was wrong. ”

“The website is a government website dude, it’s not wrong.” I said.

“But how do you know?”

“I know.”


“Because I know.”

He’s very suspicious of people’s ability to do their jobs. To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to fire someone in Italy (everyone is on long-term contracts, often LIFE contracts), so there are a good amount of incompetent people in every field. In the US, where you are fired for breathing funny,  I assume that if someone has the job they are probably doing it right because otherwise they would be fired. Yes, I know the US is full of idiots too, but more often than not idiots get fired.

After trying to convince Francesco that we had all of the information he sends me this email:

“I called the consulate in Naples and they told me to write an email to this address


For information on the green card.

Will you write the email? You can write in English of course 😉

Love you,


I laugh and reply with something like: Okay honey, but can you tell me what information you want? We already have the forms, we just have to go down, pay the $500 bucks, and hand them our stuff.

And he replies:

“I want to ask:

–        Again which forms (you never know, italians are very bad with papers)

–        If we can send everything by mail or we have to schedule an appointment and if so, how you schedule an appointment.

–        Which documents I need and if I need to have vaccinations.

–        Which is the procedure: if I understood you apply and then they invite you for the interview

I am sorry, I just want to make sure 100 % that everything is alrite.

Love you ,


Vaccinations? Is he trying to get citizenship in the Congo? And I laugh. I mean, I’m glad that he is thorough and covers all the bases. I find all of the cross-checking funny, because I assumed that vaccinations were needed it would “clearly” be stated. Right? Not according to him. According to him all workers are lazy and stupid which means they would forget to add important information to a government website. For me, that seems highly unlikely. Although, it makes sense for a country that still hasn’t caught on to the internet. Hardly any business’ have a website here, and if they do they don’t often put any information on it. Usually it’s just their name and contact hours (totally defeating the purpose). Though, why would they? Everyone here does everything important, in person. For an American that is not only inefficient, it’s obnoxious. Who has time to meet with every human being you need information from or want to purchase from? We don’t have time, and frankly, we enjoy our bubbles and faceless distance supported by the internet. Italians, no. People have to see each other to adequately judge each other. They have to analyze and sum each other up before buying a fruit roll-up, a tea set, or purchasing car insurance. Plus, people will obviously “lie online.” This is something Francesco says often. “But you can’t trust them to be honest without meeting them.” Well, if you lie you’re probably breaking some law, or, sooner or later you’ll lose credibility therefore you’ll go out of business. This makes him study my face, lower his brows, and eventually shrug and walk away. It’s something that he cannot understand, just as I cannot understand why he’s so suspicious of everyone. In my mind, if someone is an idiot, they’re going to get their asses handed to them. In his, all situations must be eased into, well thought out, studied to avoid making a mistake.

Of course, it helps to mention that his father is a retired police officer, his mother a bible teacher, while I was raised by monkeys, so, culture or upbringing, whatever, we’ve both been brain-washed to view the world in completely opposite ways. I approach it head-on, aggressively, he takes his time, slowly, calculating, thinking. I am fine with making mistakes, and I’ll do something wrong fifty times just to see what works. He is terrified of making a mistake and will weigh his options for hours, days, weeks, months before taking any chances. How will it ever work? Hopefully we’ll just balance eachother, or I make him dead. It could go either way.

ImageAlixanne Loosle Photography

You may also like

%d bloggers like this: