Sunday, 13 May 2012

homesick? us?

A lot of people, especially students, often ask us how on earth we can live in a place so far from home. Don't you miss it?! They cry, gesticulating wildly. Our answer is, more often than not, 'only occasionally'. Don't think us hard hearted, but the lure of Italy and la dolce vita really is that strong. Why this little town?! They say. I feel like pointing out the fact that lemons grow on trees, the sun is almost always shining, and don't even get me STARTED on the food. Nobody seems to grasp the fact that for us, living in a small, southern Italian town, 30 minutes from the sea and full of tasty pizza is pretty damn good. If I had a euro for every time someone asked us why we were here, I would have, well, a large amount of euros. Enough for a nice new bag at least. 

this isn't a reason why we want to live here...

nor's this....

and this definitely isn't a reason... !

The truth is, is that we are very different from the Italians. (Well, duh..) And living away from home for us Brits is not such a big deal. On the whole, we like to travel, we go to university in far-away cities, and we move out of our family home at a fairly young age. But do these things happen in southern Italy? Hmm. not so much. Family is so important, and for young people, moving more than an hour away from their home town to go to university can cause many tears. And that's just from dad. Young southern Italians also live at home for most of their 20s, some even into their 30s. I hear you gasping in surprise, but believe it or not, it's actually very, very normal here. WE are incredibly abnormal in that we DON'T live at home with our parents. That we live in another country altogether is almost incomprehensible for some people. So once again, we must begin the long spiel about how we are FINE, yes we DO miss our friends and family but we LOVE the experience of living in a lovely place like this. The only thing we don't like is when people always ask us why we are here!!

Clearly, it's just another cultural difference that we have to be patient with. Eventually, (after about 10 years probably) people will get used to us. And, gradually, we are getting used to them. My desire to laugh hysterically when a 29 year old man tells me that he lives at home with his mother has subsided. More or less. 

But, we are also human, and of course, now and then, we feel a pang for our home countries. In case you are curious, here are a few things that we do to make ourselves feel just a little bit better:
  • Call our mums. And chat for about an hour about very normal things. And complain about stuff. (Well, that's what I do to my mum anyway, poor thing)
  • Have a fry up. Sausages and beans can be brought from Lidl. Pancetta can substitute bacon rashers. Eggs and toast: easy.
  • Watch British sitcoms like Fawlty Towers and Blackadder. Ahhhh real humour! (miaow...)
  • I ask my mum (nicely...) to send parcels full of chocolate biscuits and cadbury's and English Marie Claire magazines.
  • We use facebook. Too much.

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