PART II – A typical day in Italy

  • It’s Saturday – a day you are waiting for all week long, a day which gives you time to really relax, read the morning newspaper, sipping hot black Illy espresso, prepared in a must have caffetiera (preferably Bialetti) and recover having a long sleep. Well, not really, because in Italy you wake up not because your alarm clock rang or because you are an early morning enthusiast, but mainly because a lady is explaining about her day with a very high voice to a neighbor, or a postman a screaming the name of an unknown not existing inhabitant right under your window, two ladies are repeating their “come stai” as a Sunday mass, even if meeting every day and knowing perfectly by heart how they are … usual noise of average Italian day.

     

    After the morning routine, you realize that you need to do grocery, since during the week you work from 9 am till 6 or 7 pm and very illogically all the shops close by eight. Of course, all the Italy will be crowded in supermarkets, which are not only a place to go shopping, but more a socializing center where everybody has to speak with everybody, sharing their feeling with the neighbor standing in line, discussing about politics with the lady at the cashier … it’s better you are not in hurry and especially not stressed, otherwise standing forever in long queues, being investigated by people standing before you or behind you might get you really upset. Moreover, what does it mean to stand in line at all?

    Beppe Severgnini, a columnist for “Corriere della Sera”, Italy’s leading newspaper and Italian correspondent for “The Economist” provided at very precise description of people waiting in a bank: “People don’t feel under observation in here, and behave naturally. In the rest of Europe, people tend to stand in straight lines. Here we favor more artistic configurations, such as waves, parabolas, herringbone patterns, hordes, groups, and clusters. Our choreography complicates waiting, but brightens our lives. A Briton on his or her own is a queue waiting to form. These Italians, who look as if they are waiting in an orderly fashion, are actually an equivalent number of nascent lines, each with its own direction and intentions.”

     

    However, you are never alone or always alone going abroad – it depends on the frame you are willing to put on your perception. What holds for sure is that in Italy you can always make contacts, always approach people and always find somebody who will be extremely happy to help you out or just have a simple chat with you .. starting the day with a cornetto and cappuccino in a local bar will overwhelm you with positive vibrations and you will be able to forget about the noisy vehement “parlare” all around you as the feeling of relaxation and good taste of coffee will offset all the rest.

     

    Somebody might think that it’s all about laziness, slow motion behaviour and living for eating and drinking well. Right on the contrary – while I am coming from a nation not understanding what does it mean to divide work and leisure, or better say – how to balance your life (as I do not consider diving those two correlated aspects of life), I experienced right the contrary in Italy. How they do it differently lies in the mystery of being able to take the time, sit back, take a deep breath and make a break. A break, combined with spoiling all your tastes and senses through delicious Italian cousin and a sip of finest espresso (being Illy and Segafredo among the best brands)...

    To be continued ...

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