As We Speak, The Sounds

As we speak, Francesco is lying in the backyard bleeding to death. At least, that’s what I’m imagining since I left him unsupervised with a weed-whacker. You would think that his life calling was to be in lawn care. I’ve yet to see another human being who looks as happy as Francesco does while doing yard work. Seriously, drive by our house on any given day, and you might find him out front, shoving the old ass lawnmower unevenly across the yard as happy as a crackhead who just scored a free rock. As energetic as one, too.


I’m inside trying to calm Oliver who hates machinery like you wouldn’t believe. In Florence, he’s attacked the sides of the street-cleaner trucks-twice. He attacks lawnmowers, weed whackers, as well as non-motorized monsters such as brooms and rakes. He fucking hates rakes. And for no reason. Nobody has ever attacked him with any of the above and he’s never had a bad experience, yet, you’d think that in his past life he was a survivor of Maximum Overdrive (haven’t seen that movie? Lucky.) I’m not sure what goes through his mind, but he becomes instantly rabid as soon as we take the vacuum or any other contraption out. He paces, he stalks, and once the monster comes to life, he lunges. OR, he runs and jumps into the arms of whoever isn’t next to the shitty, scary thing. I’ve tried to figure out the root of his fear to no avail because the thing about Oliver is that since he grew up in Italy, he’s not afraid of loud noises. And he’s never had a bad experience. He just innately believes that those things are evil. Or maybe he sees them as evil, autonomous, alien objects out to kill his family. Probably. Since he also becomes jealous when I talk to my plants (read: He runs over and dives on top of them). And yes, I talk to plants. And anything else that can’t get away from me (that’s probably the root of Oliver mental duress).


Update on Francesco: He’s not dead apparently. But it is super windy and he’s now raking things into our compost bin.

I’m still inside watching him through the back window. And celebrating by myself with inner monologues of “yay,” because….

I FINALLY FINISHED MY GODDAMN BOOK.  CAN I GET A WOO-HOO! And someone, please, drink a bottle of wine for me. With me. Everyone just drink. 

Check out the dirty manuscript picture on instagram, here. Thoughts on the title?

For those of you who are new here: A book that I’ve been writing (I know, I’m scared of the idea, too), not one that I’ve been reading. That would be a lot of enthusiasm for reading a book. Unless you just learned how to read and it’s your first book ever. In that case, it’s exactly the right amount. Oliver is celebrating, too, by howling incessantly at the backyard where Francesco is practically tap-dancing across the grass with a rake. It’s like broadway back there, that’s how much goddamn enthusiasm he has right about now. It’s like a musical, only instead of music it’s just the sound of me typing, and my yappy ass dog trying to save Francesco from himself.

What are your sounds right now?

 

 

Oh, Angelo: Possibly The Hottest Italian Man Living In Florence

A month ago some friends of mine from the AZ area joined me and Francesco in Florence for a week. For the first part of our trip we stayed in an Airbnb apartment near Santo Spirito. The apartment was sunny, newly renovated and modern. Well, mostly modern. It didn’t have air conditioning for reasons I’m still trying to work out in my mind. It was July, hot as hades, my boobs were sweaty and my makeup melted down my face the second I put it on so I looked like a whimpering mime most of the time. Since it was so hot in our apartment we mostly avoided it altogether, jetting out in the a.m. and wandering the streets like dried prunes till the evening. On one particular day the heat had become too much for me (since I’m apparently a delicate flower), and I started feeling dizzy. The last thing I wanted to do was faint in the middle of the street, something I’d witnessed a few years prior when a friend of ours from Brescia visited Florence and she dropped like a sack of potatoes on the Ponte Vecchio from heat exhaustion. She spent five hours hooked up to I.V.’s while a drunk man belted out tunes across from her. No thanks. So, not wanting to faint, we beelined it back to our hot ass apartment so I could take a cold shower.

When we walked into the apartment building we were hit by a gust of cool air. Turned out that the floor level was nice and cool, the sun hadn’t managed to work its way through the three meters of cement slabs. The main floor, the hallway, felt air conditioned and glorious so my friend Karen and I took a seat on the steps until my light-headedness passed. Francesco ran upstairs to our apartment on the fourth floor to grab some bottled waters from the fridge. Karen and I talked on the cold cement steps, enjoying a few wonderful minutes away from the hot air outside that felt like a blow-dryer on the nape of your neck. My face returned to its normal tone, my cheeks lost their bright red flush, and I felt fine again.

At about this time, the front door of the apartment building opened and a tall Italian man enters dressed in a navy blue suit. His head is shaved, he’s wearing D&G sunglasses and Italian leather shoes. He shuts the door behind him, pivots, and stops cold when he sees us on the steps in front of him. A smile slowly spreads across his face, a perfect smile, revealing an excellent set of the whitest pearly whites I’ve ever seen in Italy outside of a magazine ad. He pauses there for a moment just smiling, then walks with purpose directly up to Karen and I. Standing only a few inches from our feet he cocks his head to the side, the smile has only spread wider at this point,

“Hello,” he says in Italian, “what are you doing here?”

I respond, in Italian, “It’s hot outside and it’s much cooler here. We are renting an apartment upstairs. I’m just waiting for my husband.”

He nods, “but you’re not Italian. Why do you speak Italian?”

I smile, “because my husband is Italian.”

He bows slightly, “I understand. Well, enjoy your day,” he raises his sunglasses revealing one of the most attractive faces I’ve ever seen (aside from my own husband’s). I’m not easy to impress, neither is Karen, but we were both fucking impressed. “Ciao.” He walked passed us to the apartment located directly behind where we were sitting.

He took out his keys, “I lived in the US for a while,” he put his key into the hole, “it was wonderful.”

Francesco came walking down the stairs. He saw the man talking with us and flashed me a “are you getting hit on?” smile.

“Ciao,” he said to the handsome man going into his apartment.

“Ciao,” the handsome man replied, “I was just telling your friends that I lived in America for a while.”

Francesco stopped to talk with him, “really? Where?”

Turned out, the handsome man had lived in Florida for a while, partied a great deal, worked in a number of bars, had a marvelous time, and returned to his beloved Florence.

“But why do you speak Italian?” he asked Francesco.

Francesco laughed, “Uhm, because I’m Italian?” They both laughed.

The handsome guy said goodbye and disappeared into his apartment. Francesco walked over to me and Karen,

“Wow, that guy is hot.” He noted.

“Right? Wow.”

“I can see what all the fuss is about now with Italian men,” Karen laughed, “The confidence! He walked straight up to us with a determination I’ve never seen before.”

“Oh, welcome to Italy. That’s what makes them so damn attractive, the guys, they give zero fucks. That’s exactly how Francesco was when we started dating too. Insanity.”

“I like it.”

“He’s REALLY hot,” Francesco said, again.

“Yeah babe, I noticed. You gonna leave me for him?” I laughed, “Anyway,” I stood up, “I’m going to go change. Be right back.”

“I’m coming too,” Karen followed me upstairs to our sweltering apartment.

I threw on a cooler dress and more comfortable sandals. I was on my way to meet up with Georgette from Girl In Florence and I didn’t know how far I’d be walking. Plus, I didn’t want to show up a disgusting sweaty mess so the least I could do was put on a clean dress for her. I liked her, I didn’t want to knock her out with my potent b.o.

Karen and I ran downstairs to grab Francesco before heading to a bar to meet Georgette. Only, Francesco was nowhere to be found. Karen and I waited outside, and waited, and ten minutes went by and he was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, the door popped open and F stuck his head out,

“Babe, I’m hanging out with Angelo*, that’s the hot guy’s name. Come hang out!”

“Francesco, I’m going to be late!”

“Just two minutes!” Francesco grinned.

Karen and I followed Francesco into Angelo’s apartment and out to his garden where Angelo was seated, practically naked. His six pack glistened in the afternoon sun, his biceps bounced as he stood up to shake our hand.

“This is my apartment,” he said, in English this time, “I amAngelo, I own a bar nearby.” He smiled, again.

“Can I get you guys a drink? Something, else?” He paused and flashed a smile.

Angelo proceeded to roll a special variety of cigarette.

Everyone smoked the cigarette except for me because I prefer vodka.

“You sure?”Angelo asked, flashing a crooked smile.

“Yes. I’m meeting a friend for drinks.”

He shrugged.

Angelo made small talk about Florida and his life in Florence. Sweat beads occasionally fell between his well-formed pecs.

A few minutes later we excused ourselves to run towards the bar to meet Georgette. As we exited his apartment, a little old Italian woman entered from the apartment next door.

“Oh, my jesus,  his mom lives next door.”

“Of course,” Francesco added, matter-of-factly.

————–

I’m fairly certain that he has a girlfriend because it’s impossible he doesn’t BUT  if you’re interested in seeing this majestic creature in the wild visit: LANGOLINO in Santa Spirito. I’ve heard that he can be found here often. Order drinks, and thank mother nature.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Valentines Day: Seducing Your Partner The Italian Way

“If you fill a room with women, Italians, and men from the US, the American men would have no chance. That’s just a fact.” -My Super Humble Husband

BUY ME PIZZA

I wouldn’t say that all Italian men are romantic because that wouldn’t be true and “romantic,” implies a lasting quality (many spouses and long term partners will tell you that the romance is short-lived), but I feel confident in saying that Italian men are pretty damn good at seduction, maybe even the best, rivaled only by the French in both skill and dedication.

Whether or not you are into grand romantic gestures, there’s a chance that whatever they’re up to will still work, especially if you’ve had a glass of wine or two. Both cynics and romantics alike have fallen for the Italian man’s swagger, shameless ability to go way over the top, and magical gift for making their potential partners feel very, very special, even if they aren’t. I’ve spoken with both women and men who’ve said that they believed they would marry their one-night-stand, all the way up until they never heard from the guy again.

Continue reading

3 Women Of Different Nations Hold The World Together By Talking Shit On Italian Men

Some of our friends drove down to Cassino to see F and I, while we were staying at his parents apartment a few weeks ago before the holidays. The dudes went out to do some running around and they left us women at home to continue drinking and talking shit. Me, my australian friend, and a Florentine friend were sipping wine and cocktails in the living room in front of the stufa chatting about cultural differences between our respected motherlands, and of course men. One thing that all nations have in common is the need to talk about the opposite sex on occasion. It’s shit-talk that binds us. So basically we were trying to hold the world together. Peace on earth exists because of us.

Australian Woman: I really do love F. He’s lovely. I’d love to marry an Italian guy from the south one day. I love how family-oriented they are and the large meals and the close family. It’s really lovely.

Italian Woman: Really!? Are you-a sure about-a dat? I wouldn’t be-a so sure-a.

Australian Woman: [In a cute australian accent that I don’t know how to write in convo] Really? Well, why not? Because of the south? I know that the north and south have their differences.

Italian Woman: No. I mean yes, but no. Italian men-a in general. In my opinion dey expect too much from-a women. There are exceptions, clearly, but most of them just expect their wife to do too much.

ME: I think you have to be careful in every country. American men can be cold, aggressive, and kind of monkey-ish. The key is to find one that is really “weird” in the sense that they’re not “typical” in any country. F is weird and he’s pretty awesome but I watch a lot of his male friends with their partners and it’s really a lot like watching a mom with a son, it totally freaks me out and seems incestuous. The men expect a lot and the women feel a lot of obligation it seems. Most of my Italian female friends don’t want to marry their boyfriends because they say they aren’t willing to be “his mother.” In fact you can see that in the nations marriage statistics now. Italian women are not getting married anymore. Now they’re traveling and partying. Women should party more. Men should cook and clean more. And they should start giving birth, too. Everyone wins!

Australian Woman: What do you mean?

Italian Woman: It’s a problem in Italy that mothers do too much for their boys and so very few men have no responsibilities growing up. Sometimes they are treated like princes. When they get married they expect to be treated the same way by their wives. Before, in my parents generation it was normal but now women have careers and options and they’re not willing to cook, and clean, and raise childrens alone. But as I said, there are exceptions. There are a few men out there who are not this way.

ME: Do you have a brother?

Italian Woman: Yes.

Australian Woman: Did you notice a difference in how you were treated growing up?

Italian Woman: Yes. I was given responsibilities around the house for example. My brother was never expected to do anything. I’d help cook or clean and he’d sit around. It was considered normal.

Australian Woman: Ah, yes! I had an Italian boyfriend for a while. I remember being at his parents house and he would just sit around and do nothing. He never helped his mother clean up or set the table. Nothing. I remember thinking that it was the strangest thing.

Italian Woman: That’s normal in many Italian families.

ME: Ah! Same with my in-laws! My F’s sister was expected to help and do chores. F never had chores around the house. He was also allowed to stay out until midnight while his sister who was five years OLDER than him had to be in by eight p.m. because she is female. Now, in her own family, she works and so does he yet she does all of the housework and all of the cooking.

Australian Woman: NO BLOODY WAY! In my family we all had to help out. Girls and boys, everyone! And in a marriage there is no way I’d do it all by myself. That would drive you mad! That’s incredibly sexist, isn’t it?

Italian Woman: Yes, in the south that’s not so surprising about the earlier curfew for the girl. It’s still a little traditional in some parts of the south. But even in Tuscany the men typically rely too much on their mothers and are not expected to help very much. I have a friend who bought an apartment recently. He didn’t build a kitchen in it because he said he didn’t need it since his mother would bring over his food. He can’t even make coffee in his home because he didn’t install a stove. In 2013.

ME: My mother would let me starve. I’ve heard these types of stories before and I’ve seen it a lot too. I have a few friends who own business’ yet they live at home and their mums still do their laundry, cook all of their meals, etc.

Italian Woman: Yes. It’s common. But I think it’s the problem with the mothers. They like to do these things for their boys but the problem is that they are not teaching them to be independent. How can they be a good husband if they are raised like this? If the man lives alone for a long time, travels a lot, or lives abroad they are not usually like this. But the ones who live at home or near their mothers and they don’t travel…I wouldn’t marry one of them. I wouldn’t date one of them.

ME: Do you think they really like to do it or do they do it because it’s how they show love according to society? My suocera does these things too because she loves her family but when I talk with her about it she hates it . She says, “Italian women we have to do too much. I work full time. I cook. I clean. I raise the children. We do it all and in the end we’re insane because this is our life. Too much expectations and the men do too little.” However, she doesn’t want her son to feel “unloved” so she continues to do it.

Italian Woman: That is a possibility. It’s changing. Italian women are smarter and are not interested in this position of maid and mother anymore. Men are changing, too. When men move out of Italy for work now and move far away from their mothers for at least a few years. Once they become independent I believe men from my country can be really great husbands and fathers. But, I would never be with a man who never traveled or who has lived with his mother. For example, so many men live with their mothers until they marry. This is normal in Italy. But it never gives them a chance to become independent so they go from the house of their mother into the house with their wife and they just assume that the woman will do all the laundry, all the cooking, do everything, like his mother. We don’t have this problem with women. Women, it’s assumed that they are independent, they even move out younger. My advice to you [to my Australian friend] would be to find an Italian man who has traveled, lived outside of Italy for even a year, and who lives in a different city than his mother. Then he is probably a great man. Otherwise, I would be very careful.

Me: F moved away for a while and he’s very modern. We do everything 50/50 unless he’s at his mother’s home and then he’s nearly useless. But most of our friends who moved out for university are very modern and different, too. That seems pretty true. If F decided that he was a prince and stopped helping I would just let him live in his own filth until hepatitis set him straight. I have shit to do. Cannot do the maid thing.

Australian Woman: Well now I’m bloody scared!

Italian Woman: Yes. Well, welcome to Italy.

 

 

 

Wishing You All A Happy New Year And 2013 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, and basically everyone is just here for the Zebra sex.

F left his crown in the car "on accident."

F left his crown in the car “on accident.”

 

2013 In Review (Holy Shit! I Survived!)

  • I had my Italian wedding in May and did it without a complete meltdown. We were married by a really nice hobbit in Cassino Italy. Dinner lasted for seven hours and my mum-in-law had to unzip my dress because I was fainting.
  • I went to Thailand for my honeymoon. It was amazing and everyone should go there at some point in their life. I saw so many hot lady-boys and the best fake boobs ever. But the elephant Trekking made me cry. That shit is sad. Go to an elephant sanctuary instead!
  • There were many epic in-law battles but in the end I think we learned to see eye-to-eye or at least I drank enough wine that it seemed more peaceful.
  • F got his Greencard! But only because the evil woman who probably hates kittens wasn’t there that day. I lost my ability referr to him as “my WOP” which was hard but I worked through it.
  • I went viral a few times! Well, my blog went viral, I don’t have any diseases that I know of. I had over 80,000 views in November, I gained a ton of new followers, made some new friends, and received a lot of great feedback that was awesome. Unfortunately some people were dickheads and I got some really “colorful” comments that were so ridiculous that I made a video about it.
  • Oliver was put on at least twenty different sex offender lists for his “LET ME LOVE YOUR LEG” bullying. We’re not proud. Well, both of us aren’t.
  • My most popular posts of 2013 were: 25 Things I’ve Learned About Italy18 Differences Between Living In Italy And The United StatesWhy Everyone Should Live In Italy At Least Once In Their Lives, The Big Cheat: The Truth About Italian Men, and 13 Things That Marrying An Italian Man Has Taught Me.
  • A lot of people came to my site by searching for: Midget Porn, Florence Italy Street Fashion, And Zebra Sex. I feel like Google finally gets me.

My New Years Resolutions are to: Do one thing every week to make the world a better place. Publish my book. And to bring back the running man. What’s yours?

Shit Italian Dads Say

This is a great American comedic actress with (I believe) an Italian immigrant father. She basically sums up the older generation perfectly. Oddly enough, you would never be able to tell from the wig and Super Mario Brother moustache, but the actress is a really gorgeous Italian woman.

Moving To Florence: Studying And Living

A lot of people who read this blog are either drunk or interested in moving to Italy, or both, which is why my community of readers are both fun and adventurous and basically better than everyone else. Since I love all of you so much I’d like to help import you to Italy by supplying whatever information I’ve learned to get you here and keep you here (mostly) legally. If you live in Italy or have lived in Italy feel free to comment and add to my suggestions!

Staying Longer Than Three Months And The Dreaded Visa

Let’s start with visa information. Compared to other countries, it’s fairly easy to get a visa for Italy if you’re from a developed country (if your country is considered third-world, they’ll still give it to you but you’ll have a few more hoops to jump through. I’d recommend just taking a boat and running for it.). There are a few different visa options and what you choose will probably come down to what you can afford. Anything up to three months doesn’t require a visa at all and that’s great if you want to come and do some tourism or a WWOOF program for the summer.

After three months you’ll need either a student visa or an extended tourist visa. Getting a work visa in any country is nearly impossible so I wouldn’t even bother. If you choose to do some kind of study program here you are allowed to work twenty hours per week which is nice although keep in mind that the average hourly pay here is like seven euros. The easiest way to come here is if you’re already attending an American Uni that has connections with a Uni here in Italy. However, I didn’t do that. I took out huge loans and attended the post-bachelorette program at SACI. Though, there are much cheaper schools here for literally everything you can imagine from cooking to wine-making, to sculpture and language and let’s not forget about apprenticeships. Getting a student visa is a pretty straight shot. The website lists everything you need to do and submit and once you do that you should be fine for whatever amount of time you’re studying. If you are an artist or a writer you can probably do a Self Employed Visa, the only downside of this is proving you have the financial means to coast through a year or so. You’ll find the information on the same website I linked above.

Money is for sure the biggest problem to tackle because getting a visa requires you to have 1,000 bucks in the bank for every month you ask to be in Italy. It can be a lot. I didn’t do that, instead I submitted bank statements showing that I get paid regularly a certain amount and then I had my mother do the same and write a letter saying she would help me financially if I needed it and that worked just fine. (You should try to have at least a couple grand saved before you move here just in case you don’t find a job right away.).

With that said, I do know a few people who never bothered with the visa, instead they just leave the country every three months to go on a mini-vacation outside of the Shengen area. Apparently, this works, although the risk is that if you get caught over-staying your visa you are banned from Italy forever and also it’s not easy to find work if you’re not legal. Probably better to get the visa.

After you get your visa, when you arrive in Italy you need to go to the Police station within eight days and apply for a Residence Permit or a Permesso Di Soggiorno. I’ll be honest and say that IT FUCKING SUCKS. You’ll be in line for hours, plan on having a shitty day, it’s part of immigrating here. The Permesso is nice to have because once your student visa runs out as long as your Permesso is up-to-date you can  still stay. My old room-mate originally came on a student visa, but then she found a job as a tour guide and stayed on her Permesso alone. Make sure you have it and keep it current. 

Schools

Going to an Italian school is a good deal cheaper than going to an American school. Well, basically going to school anywhere on earth is cheaper than an American school but Italy is really cheap. As far as grants and loans are concerned there are a number of cultural grants that one can apply for from most countries (I know Canada offers them for example). The downside is I haven’t found many in the United States because ya know Ammmmmerca doesn’t fund a lot of cultural exchange programs. However, Italy gives some money to humans who want to study in Italy. 

Finding the right school can make all the difference. If you study your ass off before you come to Italy you can go to an Italian school which is cheaper, but everything will be taught in Italian. If you are like me and you suck at languages (because you are shy and awkward), you can find schools that are affordable and cater to English-speaking humans. Make sure the school is reputable, and that the degrees, certifications, etc. transfer to your home-country. More than anything just make sure you cross compare schools to make sure that you’re not getting ripped off. And do not do housing through the school! They always jack up the prices on student apartments and many schools make a large profit on the apartments. I know from experience.

A Few School Recommendations For Florence:

http://www.artfuji.it/

http://www.lorenzodemedici.it/en/home

http://www.scuolacucinaitaliana.com/

Rent And Apartments

I think it’s similar throughout Italy but most of my experience is with Florence. In Florence you’ll pay around 300-400 euros per month to rent a bedroom in a shared apartment. I highly recommend doing this. Frankly, it’s better for  money, you’ll learn Italian faster, and you’ll be living like the locals. Italians don’t rent their own apartments usually. They live with their parents or they rent a room in a shared apartment. They’ll probably ask for a deposit and first months rent, you’ll most likely have to sign a contract which you can break anytime in Italy with a written notice. Most rent should include utilities. The best way to find a room for rent is to come to Italy and go to universities or cafe’s and look at bulletin boards. This is how most people find room-mates and places to live. Ideally take a friend or someone with you just to be safe. If you are in Florence and insist on an English speaking room-mate try to find someone from the rent wall at the European Institute.

Jobs: How To Make Money

Almost everyone I know either works as an English speaking tour guide (easier to qualify for the job than you might think), teaches English, or works in a pub of some sort. There is also the dog-sitter or nanny thing but those are jobs that take some time to establish. Most other jobs will require to to speak Italian fairly well.  A lot of the people who I know that teach English just tutor kids or whomever here or there. You can advertise in a number of ways from putting up an add online to posting things around the city. Remember, Italy is not very internet friendly. Most things are still done in physical form such as posting “English Teacher” ads on boards in coffee shops or at schools etc. around the city. It’s not easy landing a job before you arrive here. People conduct everything face-to-face (a cute habit which quickly becomes irritatingly inconvenient.). Another option is to do freelance work for American companies. That’s what I do and I love it. You can sign up to a number of freelance websites to write (textbroker.com or freelancer.com are examples), or do graphic design, or a number of other things. If you can do this steadily before moving to Italy it’s probably the easiest option in the beginning.

Romance

You’ll probably arrive here and fall madly in love with some Italian Stallion because a lot of them dress well and they are good at the sex. It’s not that difficult to land an Italian man these days since there are way more of them than there are Italian women. Most of them, because of the culture, are what anglo-saxons equate with “prince charming.” Although keep a few things in mind: His mother probably controls his life and irons his panties. He is probably still friends with every girl he has ever slept with and he comes from a country where having a little somethin’-somethin’ on the side is considered normal and is talked about openly among dudes. He also might be fascist like all “yay fascism”. If you find one who isn’t a cheater, who has stopped breast feeding from his poor mom’s dry and chaffed teets, who isn’t pro-mussolini, and who washes his own panties: marry him. Then you can stay forever and make super cute mixed babies. Tuscan rainbows.

What would you add? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below. 😉