Italy is a beautiful country and there’s absolutely no denying that. However, when you live in Italy for a while there are certain things that can take some getting used to, and some things that you’ll never get used to, and those things will make you insane. A friend of mine refers to expats in categories based on how well-suited people were to move to Italy in the first place. I’m not exactly sure which category I’d fit into because honestly I can identity with pretty much all of them. There is a part of me that is the Hopeless Romantic: I’ll always love and appreciate small things like bright flowers against stone buildings, entire families sitting down to wine and dine, and old women, widows, in black strolling the streets together. I’m also a Snob: Living in Italy because it’s just classier and a little more “cultured.”At times I’m the Adventurer: I love Italy’s close proximity to other parts of the world. And then, for many months out of the year, I am the Ren-Fair expat. The Ren-Rair expat is a word that my friend coined that means, “renaissance fair” expat, an outcast, quirky but also creepy, bitter, and a little bit insane (to be honest that’s kind of me even in the US…so….
For the Italophiles out there, you’re thinking, “oh no! Not me! If I had a chance to live in Italy, oh boy! I’d enjoy every minute of it!” And you know, you’d probably enjoy most of it but then something totally crazy will happen that can only happen in Italy and you’re suddenly like, “I NEVER WANT TO SEE PEOPLE AGAIN! FUCK THIS PLACE!” Then you don’t leave your apartment for a week except to walk your dog while you hiss at people who pass you on the sidewalk. It’s part of living the immigrant life in a country that could not possibly be more different than most other places on earth. So, here is a list of reasons that Italy might make you (temporarily or permanently) insane:
1.You function best with rules, order, and structure.
2. In elementary school you excelled at standing in line. Lines are “fair,” and you love that they exist.
3. You use the internet to gather most of your information. In fact, Siri makes most of your dinner reservations for you. (Didn’t know she could do that? SHE TOTALLY CAN!)
4. You conduct most of your business online, via email, or again, by having Siri write text messages for you.
5. You were born in North America and you expect people to do what they say they’ll do. You’re direct and quickly get to the point. When people are verbose it irritates the shit out of you.
6. Screaming and yelling freaks you out because you associate screaming with punching, stabbing, and gun violence.
7. You’re independent. People telling you what to do will make you tantrum out. (This is me. I become a six-year-old when bossed around).
8. You don’t speak any Italian at all and don’t intend to start anytime soon.
9. The idea of “trying” to make friends seems exhausting.
10. As far as you’re concerned this is a perfectly acceptable way to hold a dinner conversation: “I’ve read that babies actually pee in the womb. Did you read that article on gray matter and the mental development between the sexes? A monkey bit me in Thailand so I probably have some kind of contagious monkey disease.”
11. You have a vagina.
12. You really want to get married before you turn fifty-five.
13. Money is very important to you and you want to live somewhere that provides you the opportunity to make a lot of it.
14. The idea of your in-laws packing your suitcases, ironing your underwear and sheets, or possibly moving into your house is terrifying. The idea keeps you up at night.
15. When buying a panini you expect to see people wash their hands after fondling money.
16. You do not like dogs and do not understand why there are ten in your favorite restaurant in Florence. Also, did the waiter seriously just bring them a bowl of ham?(p.s. YOU SUCK! What kind of psycho doesn’t like dogs? Asshat.)