Saturday, July 5, 2008

Conclusions about Florence after a month here

1. the concept of customer service is nonexistent
2. everybody smokes
3. Italians like to talk
4. they use "permesso" more than "scusi"
5. they speak slowly enough to pronounce every syllable, unlike the Spanish speakers I've encountered, who can't get through the words quickly enough
6. apparently they don't consider sliced bread the best thing
7. they don't have portabello mushrooms. It's all about porcini.
8. the fake meat products in the US are far superior (especially, and you should try these, Morningstar Farms "grillers prime" veggie burgers, Veat breasts, and Quorn chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and "grounds")
9. they capitalize only the first letter of acronyms, e.g., "Usa"
10. I have seen very few Vespas. The motor scooters are other brands.
11. I have been asked for directions 4 or 5 times by Italians
12. I would describe Italian fashionable clothing, as in the rest of the world, as "ugly." The standard procedure for dressing yourself, I imagine, is to take 8 or 9 pieces of fashionable clothing from your closet that don't match, and put them all on together. You must include large plastic jewelry that is not necessarily the same color as anything else you're wearing. I was excited, however, that Converse- and Keds-style sneakers seem to be popular. Also, the hot weather clothing seems to be better, except for the face-engulfing sunglasses, since it generally consists of a tank top, shorts or skirt, and sandals.
13. The city is more racially diverse than I expected
14. English is used in unhelpful places like T-shirts. Some text on T-shirts I've seen: "Wild Monkey High School," "I'll come right to the point," "you drive me crazy," "monster on the dance floor," "I play in a garage band," and "now give mummy a smile." There is also a store called "Sexy Shop Kickdown," which recalls: "I know those words, but that sign doesn't make any sense." -Lisa Simpson. Actually, sex stores are usually called "sexy shop"s, but I can't explain "kickdown."
15. Despite the exchange rate, you can still find things that cost the same amount as they do is the US.
16. "Old" here is pre-1600, in contrast to the "historic" items in the US from the 18 or 1900s.
17. I have killed an average of 1 or 2 mosquitoes a day since I've been here
18. cashiers will always ask you if you have some amount of money other than the amount you're trying to pay with. They don't seem to like to count more than one coin or a couple of bills for change. Unlike the Central and South American countries I've been to, however, they will accept units of currency larger than one.
19. McDonalds is the only American fast food chain I've seen so far. And they have "McDrives" (drive-throughs).
20. I don't think they have crickets
21. cranberries are solely a US/Canada thing

7 comments:

Arista said...

Man, who knew the Italians were so silly in so many ways? Glad to hear you seem to be surviving though!

Those t-shirts are seriously awesome. Whenever I see English slogans/malapropisms on foreign t-shirts, I always wonder what Chinese people think of we Americans and the characters we seem to emblazon on our shirts/bodies, and how they probably "do not think it means what you think it means" (thanks, Inigo). We're probably getting tattoos with Chinese characters that mean "cheese" instead of "happiness" or whatever. Though, in my book, cheese does equal happiness, but that's a different story. ;-)

Anyway, are you having fun yet?

Arista said...

P.S. We saw Candide at Wolf Trap last night (very good, btw), and we thought of you guys!!!

Ben said...

Ooh... Candide! I'm jealous. There are some open air concerts in the Boboli Gardens here, but they're quite expensive, so we haven't been to any of those. Also, I'm not sure that you can bring a picnic. On the other hand, there was a picnic competition around here last weekend, which we surely would have entered and won had you been here!

Anonymous said...

LOVE your work here!! Absolutely hilarous!! How's Italy?! Sounds like you're having a GREAT time!!! :) check out my http://aleciarae03.livejournal.com/ If you be a friend, you can read the friends things!!! :) Anyway miss you loads and wish we had the monies to come down. Were in Portugal --- it's being loaded onto my live journal :) xx Alecia Rae xx

aleciarae03 said...

Dude!! LOVE your work here!! Absolutely hilarous!! How's Italy?! Sounds like you're having a GREAT time!!! :) check out my http://aleciarae03.livejournal.com/ If you be a friend, you can read the friends things!!! :) Anyway miss you loads and wish we had the monies to come down. Were in Portugal --- it's being loaded onto my live journal

:) xx Alecia Rae xx

p.s. sorry for being a goof and posting this twice... I didn't know I could link to Livejournal profile! :)

dqjkin2000 said...

Arista: Yay Wolftrap! I read that book. The one part that stands out in my memory is probably not in the opera/musical. Yes, that is also what the t-shirts remind me of. I'm curious to know if the Italians get the strangeness.

Aleciarae: That's exciting, I've never been to Portugal. It would also be nice to make it up north there sometime. I'm slowly but surely working my way into the red, so we'll see. I need to devise a money-making scheme.

dqjkin2000 said...

This is the part: go here and search the page for the part starting with "being reduced to"