Saturday, January 03, 2009

THE GOOD THINGS ABOUT LIFE IN THE U.S.

Okay, so here's a list of things I'm enjoying while I'm in the states:
  • A forced air furnace - nice warm even heat, even in the corners
  • wall to wall carpet - especially nice in the winter
  • less humidity - although the Ohio River Valley can be miserbly humid in the summer, in the winter it's nice and dry, as opposed to Umbria, where it's wet and damp from now til June.
  • SALES! Yes, sales are a part of the season, and a part of the recent economic panic, but still, sales in the states are a way of life, and if you want ot pay full price for something you've really got to work at it - or just be unlucky.
  • Driving - and in my very own car! Freedom!
  • the daily newspaper and the coupons in the paper
  • magazines and books, and huge bookstores...all in English!
  • Ethnic food - Mexican and Oriental, and of course good ole American hamburgers and fries!

That's just a short list, and I'll add more things - and I'll also publish a list of the things we're missing from Italy!

8 Comments :

At 1/03/2009 08:44:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Enjoy! (although I must fully admit I miss living in bella Italia)

But, one of the things I did miss occasionally during our two years of living in Italy (and I know it sounds crazy since we love Italian food!) was the availability of other ethnic foods, so I know what you mean.

Have fun.

 
At 1/03/2009 05:59:00 PM , Blogger Karen said...

HI. i have been lurking and enjoying your column, and after living in Italy for nine years, I agree with most everything, except I hate wall-to-wall carpet, and I hate having to drive everywhere all the time.

I would like to add to good things about being back home:
*Not being required to have the exact change. In fact, it took a long time to break the habit of fishing around in my purse to make sure I gave the American cashier the exact change. I would even apologize, and I got a lot of strange looks.
*Being in a restaurant or other large gathering, and hearing only English, which always seemed so odd to me the first day or two that I was home.
*Agreeing with you totally about the ethnic food.
*Shopping in American grocery stores: wide aisles, and rows and rows of selections. Dislikes: shopping carts the size of small tankers; limited pasta section but two hundred kinds of chips in garbage-sized sacks.

I used to complain about the general lack of customer service in Italy, but I think it has changed here, too. No one seems to care, they don't know the merchandise and they are usually talking to their other twenty-something friends rather than waiting on you. And for every bad experience in Italy, I can relate two or three positive ones: the butcher who takes time to carefully tell you how to cook something, the edicola guy who hands you La Repubblica every morning before you even ask for it, the fruttivendelo who throws in an extra onion or something new in season for free.

Anyway, have a great time back home. I will be back in Bologna in March.

 
At 1/04/2009 08:17:00 AM , Blogger Bob and Rosemary said...

Barbara,
I just added you guys as a link on our website. It would be great if you could add us to your blog!

Thanks for your support, always.
R.

 
At 1/05/2009 10:02:00 PM , Blogger Dr Satori said...

Hi Barb and Art, I sure enjoy seeing your comparisons between North America and Italy. People who never get a chance to stay a long time abroad probably take a lot of these things you note for granted. Often, my Italian friends think I dislike Italy - but that's incorrect. They're two different experiences. I sure can say, I miss the same things as you noted. I also miss having access to American sized paper for my writings! It's impossible to find 81/2" x 11" paper here, and a lot of my published work has to be on it.

 
At 1/05/2009 10:04:00 PM , Blogger Dr Satori said...

Oh - I just read Rob's and Rosemary's, and Karen's comments. I so have to agree with them - although the car laws are wacky. It's impossible to believe there is a line-up of 25 people at a cash, and they want you to dig out two cents! And their cash drawer is overflowing with change!

 
At 1/06/2009 04:24:00 PM , Blogger Barbara said...

We do see quite a few need a pney/take a penny containers neaqr cash registers here in Louisville, but for me the big difference is when the store CLERKS in Italy round your change up (or down!)!

 
At 1/08/2009 09:51:00 AM , Anonymous Martha said...

Barb,
I don't miss wall to wall at all in fact I hated it. Ditto for forced air heat. We just spent several nights in B&Bs and hotels with forced air and I woke up groggy every morning. But I do miss being warm and could so live without cold toilet seats. Is Ehler's still around? Have a hot fudge sundae or milkshake. Ohh a milkshake...

 
At 1/12/2009 08:25:00 AM , Anonymous Italy Property Investment said...

Very keen to see your post about Italy...

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home