Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Routines and Living in Italy

Having a family in Italy is no easy chore. Unless you are some kind of a true aristocrat and can afford a live in babysitter, house manager and a live in cook, the routines in Italy can kill you.

Pane, Pane, Pane

In this culture it is a crime not to have fresh bread everyday. This means that someone in the household has to go to the local bakery everyday to buy just enough bread for the day. It is truly an art in knowing exactly how much bread you need for the day. Do not even think about using the bread the next day, for aside from being frowned upon by your now spoiled husband and children, one day old bread in Italy is rock hard. So for those of us who do not have the art down, we end up with old bread on a daily basis. I cannot grate the bread without grating my fingers and throwing away food for me is truly a sin. So I am lucky enough to have “Anita” , a farmer who lives next door and who happily accepts my bread for her chickens and pigs.

This has to be the number one daily cause of anxiety for me. There are only a few full day programs in Italian schools, which means no cafeteria! When I found out that children come home for meals everyday, I nearly had a heart attack. “Ok let’s get this straight,” I asked around, “you mean my whole family comes home for lunch everyday?” Yikes! For my American friends, let me explain that this is not just getting sandwiches at a Subway or chicken at Pollo Loco. This is setting the table with a tablecloth, silverware, usually a pasta dish, a second course meat or fish dish, veggies, and yes that x!!!%&(/&(R fresh bread ! This in itself is one good reason to move back to the USA! So if you work from home like I do, it means taking off a good two hours for the whole ordeal and then waiting for dinnertime when it all pleasantly takes place again. No wonder why productivity in Italy is so low.

Still want to move to Italy?? Read on…

Trash & Mail
Ok since we are complaining, let me tell you about the trash system. Aside from being extremely expensive as far as yearly fees, we do not have anyone picking up our trash nor is there a trash bin within a logical radius. Trash must be divided (this is a great thing) for recycling and you do not have your own trash bins. They are usually a few blocks away and each neighbourhood shares one or more. So you have to bring your own trash already divided daily to these bins.

As for mail, I can never figure out why the postal worker drops off your mail at your house but cannot pick it up. So you have to physically bring your mail to the post office for delivery.

Kilowatts & Storms

I have gone through 3 telephones and 2 television sets in the past 4 years due to thunderstorms. Why is it that my appliances get burned during them here and not at home in the USA? I know I should not be comparing.

Each family has the right to 3 kilowatts of power. This means that you cannot have two major appliances running at the same time or you will be shorted. Don’t even think of using your hairdryer while the washing machine is going!! Multi tasking is just not big in Italy!

No comments: