Ciao, Y’all!

I love this phrase. I want to say it all the time even though it sounds so silly. My dad, who’s from New York, instilled in me to never say “y’all” ever. Never ever. I still don’t say that word, but this phrase is the perfect mix of my Texas roots, my Italian heritage, and now this new country I’m living in!

Here’s some things Patrick and I have been amazed by since we’ve been here:

1. We’ve seen one Burger King since we’ve been here and that’s most likely because there’s Americans near by, and they knew they’d get business. Other than that, there are NO fast food places. None. I miss having the convenience of running to Chick-fil-A or Sonic to get a quick bite to eat. On the other hand, I like how every meal is enjoyed and generally takes a couple of hours to finish. There’s just something about slowly eating pasta and drinking wine with people you love. It’s enjoyable and makes you slow down from life. (Patrick actually dislikes this about Italy and wishes eating out would be quicker. Everyone send him a message and tell him to enjoy it a bit!) Dinner is around 8-9pm, which is hard to get used to as well. That means you won’t finish until around 10-11pm, maybe.

2. We cannot count how many people, crazy people to be more specific, we’ve seen driving down the wrong side of the road. There have been so many! Yet we haven’t seen one accident. I may say this too often, but I literally can’t comprehend how there’s not more accidents. When you come up to a roundabout, there’s no order. Whoever feels like going will just pull out and drive. Sometimes people in the roundabout, when there’s traffic behind them, will just stop! Enough of that crazy talk.

3. I’ve seen over and over Italian ladies come up to American mothers and yell at them because their children aren’t bundled up. Italian women must think that it’s freezing here because this happens all the time when we go out!

4. The houses have no closets, but all have basements/garages. Out of 14 houses we looked at, only 1 had a tiny closet. I told the landlord it was beautiful when I saw it because I was so shocked, haha! We were given wardrobes, which take up a lot of room, but we’ll take what we can get!

5. Every house and apartment here has metal shutters that you lockup at night since robbery is a big issue here. The first night we moved into our house we locked everything up and I felt as if we were in the movie “I am Legend” where Will Smith locks up for the zombies. Our bedroom was pitch black; it was a little terrifying, lol.

6. Women are not equal to men in Italy. For example, some men came over to drop off our wardrobes and they asked Patrick where they should be placed. Anytime the men asked Patrick a question, he would turn to me instead and ask my opinion. Finally the men asked if women were “higher” than men in America. We got a good laugh out of that.

“The man has the final say and that’s, ‘Yes, dear.'”

7. Gas pumps quickly and is almost always pumped for you. Being from Texas, I’ve never experienced non-self serve before.

8. If you go to a restaurant and someone is there guiding you on where to park, you should tip when you leave. These workers secure the lot and make sure no one is going to break into your car. When you leave, they will occasionally try and stand in front of your car until you tip them.

9. The gelato is as amazing as people say it is. My motto is eat gelato everyday. Your tastebuds will thank you. On a side note, the bread hasn’t been as great as we were expecting, at least it isn’t when we go to restaurants. Maybe we’re going to the wrong restaurants, but I was expecting a little more from the Naples bread.

10. Police and ambulance leave their lights on all the time. It worried me at first because I wasn’t sure why no one was getting over for the ambulance! Patrick and I actually got pulled over by the police in Capu and they pointed at us to get over. How effective, right? The officers told us we got pulled over because our front license plate was missing (we had it in the trunk since it wouldn’t stay on the bumper). They also informed us that our faithful 1997 BMW wagon with tinted windows is what members of the mafia drive. Lovely. We were let go and got escorted to where we were going since we couldn’t seem to find our way! Win-win.

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