Expat input

November 6th, 2005 · Tags: Expats · Italy · Random

So, another weekend, this one a wet one everywhere, except Calabria, where they were on the beach! (Remember, Italy is loooong) I was lucky to spend a dry day in Torino meeting up with some of the ladies from expatsinitaly.com. Gina was nice to drive us around (ah, the luxury of a car!) and we spent most of the day wandering the market at the market at Porta Palazzo (read about the market here and here.)

Torino reminded me of being in Greece in 2004, a few months before the 2004 Summer Olympics. There, nothing looked ready – a metro line still being completed, bridges, event centers. Torino gave the same impression (for goodness’ sake, one of the main squares of the town is 200 feet deep!) even though it’s said they are trying to be ready for the upcoming Christmas season. Even funnier if you read this article about the Piazza Olympics.

I wouldn’t bet on it.

But I’m sure the Italians will figure out, right after New Year’s, that the more money you throw at something, the faster it will be finished. I predict a spike in productivity then.

The Porta Palazzo market was amazing and I cursed myself that I hadn’t brought my camera with me. The images remain vivid, however. Mountains of shiny bell peppers, juicy oranges ready to sample, 2 kilos of clementines for only 1 euro! We spent most of the time in the food areas, though we did wander into the antique/used areas, as well as the clothing. We spent hours walking around (helped by a kebap stop and coffee later), but I’m sure we missed big parts of the market. I limited my purchases to some Clementines that I shared with Mary Beth and a measuring cup, since I had to lug it all back on the train.

I think all the shopping got to me, and when I was walking through “downtown” Pavia back to my house (thankfully not raining), I bought myself a jacket. A nice one. Impulse-buying strikes again! I have been pretty immune to it for a while, but I find that it still happens. Unfortunately the items are getting more expensive, but at least better quality. You have to be careful in Italy, because most stores have a no-returns policy. The best you can get is a store credit. Luckily, the husband liked the jacket and confirmed my choice.

It was really nice to spend time with some other women that are in a similar situation (married or seriously dating an Italian man) but I feel fortunate in that I met my husband after I’d moved here, so I’d already started adjusting to life in Italy on my own. Most of them are very smart, independent women that find themselves in a new country with only their significant other as a source of support and social interaction, so it’s very frustrating for them. We’ll keep the get-togethers happening!

So this happened too recently that I don’t think there is an English version available yet (Some pictures on La Repubblica) Four men, the oldest 20 years old, robbed a bank in Palermo. They got 2,000 euro. It was captured on videocamera. They weren’t wearing MASKS or any disguise at all!! Idiots. Nominee for the Darwin Awards, I believe. Ok, so they’re not dead, but I bet they wish they were now. Should have used the finger-in-the-jacket instead of real guns. (PS> The Darwin Awards movie with Ralph Fiennes should be coming out sometime soon)

The Scrolling Buckle is something I’m going to immediately start recommending to my outgoing Italian guy friends with a low level of English who want to meet girls. I can help them pre-program sayings in English like, “Wanna see what’s behind this?” or “Me So Horny” or “I speak the language of love – let’s go practice” or even “Let my body do the talking” that I am sure will be big hits with the ladies. Anyone else have a good phrase?

I can’t imagine making something called “coffee beer.” No, it’s not a punctuation mistake like this site (Coffee Beer and Other Beverages) But I guess Nestle believes it’s a winner. They even filed a patent. But I guess someone has to try these crazy inventions – we would be without peanut butter & jelly, S’mores, or chocolate and bacon. The comments people made about using chocolate in Mexico had me laughing. It’s called ‘mole’ sauce, people!

Ah, if only these T-shirts been popular when I was in college in Texas. I feel like getting one just so my husband asks me what it means, and I have to explain it. I’m sure it’s a big seller with the Silver Ring Thing crowd. No comment on that.

This shirt makes me laugh because I’m sure 1 million of them would sell here in Italy. I think any clothes that have spelling or grammatical errors get sent out here.

I used to be a closet Sausage Fan but I’ve slowly learned to overcome the ridiculue (every man loves to make a joke out of it) and disdain (not diet food!). We even have our own website now (see above). Of course, a tribute must be made to Aidell’s Sausage – some of the Bay Area’s best, and my Costco favorite. (Habanero & Green Chile is the best)

“People who enjoy eating sausage and obey the law should not watch either being made” – Otto von Bismarck

Nanowrimo update: Well behind on my word count, but I have days of train-ride commutes ahead of me.

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  • 1
    Gia-Gina // Nov 7, 2005 at 12:38 am

    Hey girl,
    Your posts are jam packed. Thanks for the honorable mention. We must do it again and make another day of it. I felt bad you had to get up early and leave so late. Nat stayed over that night and I took her to the station in the AM, also you could stay over anyday and bring the hubby too. We have plenty of room. I was so glad to meet you and wish you luck with the writing.

  • 2
    Laurie // Nov 7, 2005 at 9:06 am

    Sara, I was sorry I had to run off to of all places Pavia and to have missed the girls’ day out….a rare pleasure here! I’m sure we’ll do it again and I look forward to getting to know you better…in the meantime I am enjoying your blog…!

  • 3
    Anonymous // Nov 19, 2005 at 5:18 am

    Sara,
    Your writing is eloquent and your humor enjoyable. I love reading your blog.
    ~Monica Mc.

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