Tuesday, 17 April 2012

10 (slightly unusual) reasons we LOVE southern Italy

Over the Irish one's pesto spaghetti one lunchtime, (yes, that's right, our main meal of the day IS lunch. Traditional and absolutely necessary due to busy afternoons and evenings of teaching) I asked the girls about why they like living here. But I asked them to think of the silly little reasons why they like it. I was given plenty of suggestions (most of the Irish one's reasons revolved around buffalo mozzarella, but more on THAT in the future), and so decided to compile a top ten list of (slightly odd) reasons why living here is just brilliant.

1. Our mobile phone service provider is called Wind. Cue many, many inappropriate yet hilarious jokes.

2. Most houses (including ours) have shutters. Why is this so great? Well, after dragging ourselves back home at 4am after a Saturday night with the locals, we aren't too fond of being woken up again at 6.30am when the sun rises. Solution: shut the shutters and get a full 8 hours without light interruption. Curtains are soooo UK.

3.'Saloon'. A bar in our town, which more often than not has sticky tables and no loo paper, but my word do we love it. It's always packed, costs next to nothing and we particularly love the drinks with rude names.

lots of shots at saloon.

4. Those extra 5 minutes that are totally acceptable and are not, in any way, shape or form, considered as 'lateness'. Italians are not punctual. And I like this. It can of course, become too extreme (turning up 40 minutes late for an hour long lesson? Erm...what?), but I take these 5 minutes as a sign of being laid back. Punctuality is not part of la dolce vita.

La Dolce Vita. Or, being lazy. Both are excellent.

5. A lack of (non- expensive) clothes shops in my town. What this means, is that we curb our spending, focusing on what we REALLY need. That is, of course, until we take a trip to a big city. Then it's purses at the ready. ohmygodwehaven'tbeenshoppinginAGESlet'sbuyshooooooessandbaaaaags!!!

6. Balconies. And a terrace. Even though we don't have a garden, Oh how CONTINENTAL we feel!!

7. Tesco does no exist here. Hence, we buy excellent quality meat at the butcher, veg from the fruit and veg shop, and bread from the bakery. But I must admit, we do buy buffalo mozzarella from anywhere that sells it. Addicted? Us?

8. We are practically forced to learn Italian. This small town does not really have an English speaking community (bar those students who come to our *fantastic* school of course) so learning Italian is a must. It's not easy and the grammar is shocking, but it really is a beautiful language. And besides, the mistakes that you make go largely unnoticed, as long as you make the right hand gestures. It's all about gesticulation.

9. Being a tourist attraction. Yes, people pointing and talking under their breaths about us can get a little tiresome, but most of the time people are just curious, and will try their best to attract our attention. We like talking to new people, so as long as they don't LITERALLY follow us around the town (yes, it did happen to the Welsh one once), we are happy to oblige. Trust me, they will NEVER get used to us. 

10. US. Apart from our boss, we are pretty much the only native English speakers in the area. And so we are like a family. We eat together, we drink coffee together, we engage in tomfoolery together and we know each other secrets. (The Welsh one snores like a trouper and the Irish one has a large, not-so-secret chocolate stash)

Most of the Irish one's suitcase was filled with chocolate (and Primark goods of course) on her way back from Ireland this Easter.

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