Monday, July 22, 2013

Coming and going

Sorry it's been a while...we have had a busy month!  A couple days after my last post Miles and I hopped a plane to the US for 3.5 weeks of family/friends time.  I have a post working up on that but it's not done yet.  But I felt like I needed to get this down...as I'm trying to be better about the whole "blog as a journal" thing. 

I experienced a little bit of culture shock moving to Italy.  I feel like a lot of it was tempered because of the excitement of moving somewhere new and all the fun things we were getting to see and do.  And over time I've come to accept the quirky parts of Italian culture and even love some of them.  Some.  Fast forward to our visit to the states.  I can definitely say that I experienced MASSIVE culture shock my first few days back in the US.  If people were watching me at the grocery store they probably thought I'd just been released from years in prison or had just returned from an extended stay in the space station.  I was amazed by the simplest things...the many, many flavors of Chobani yogurt, how wide the roads are, how HUGE the cars are, and my ears kept perking up every time I heard English being spoken - which was everywhere.   I actually felt a little more at home in a tiny, cramped Spanish market in Chicago where everyone around me was speaking different languages.  It felt like Italy.  

Over the three and a half weeks all of this became less amazing and I settled into a routine.  I enjoyed laying in bed while the central air conditioning kept my room cool, and woke up to steaming hot showers.  Miles enjoyed all the different flavors of yogurt (his favorite food as of late) and I loved being able to go to the grocery store any time of day or night I wanted.  We ate sushi and mexican and Chick-fil-A...played in my parents' back yard in the grass and didn't think twice about leaving a bag from Target in my car while I ran into the grocery store.  

Then we flew back to Italy.  

Let me just say that I love it here.  Most days.  And I know my crumudgin attitude is partially because of jetlag...but man alive, Italy welcomed us home with a big sticky slap in the face.  

Our car felt so tiny.  I wondered how we would fit in it.  And cars were moving so fast and so recklessly.  We got home, schlepped our stuff up 60 stairs to our apartment to be greeted by the 95*  80% humidity summer afternoon that had baked our house hot enough to melt the butter Nathan left next to the stove.  We opened the metal shutters on the windows (which had been locked shut to prevent burglary) turned on our fans, put Miles down for a nap and laid on top of the bed, willing the temperature to drop.  

Over the next week we were assaulted with horrible traffic jams, rude customer service, uncomfortable, sweaty nights, and a grim reminder of how few flavors of greek yogurt we can buy.  (We are so close to Greece...you'd THINK it would be in abundance here...)  All of these things I knew, and had come to accept, but had been replaced during my visit to the states.  So now I'm forced day by day, inconvenience by inconvenience to deal with it...and look for the things I love about Italy.  Afterall, we are half way through our tour here and I don't want the last half to be spoiled by a bad attitude.  So here it goes...a few things I've missed about Italy.  

1 - Pizza.  Seriously.  I tried to give Miles pizza once in the states because he asked for it.  He looked at what I offered him (Pizza Hut), threw it on the floor and said "NO...Pi-zza!" like I had offered him something totally different.  And it isn't just about the food.  After a particularly trying day last week we got pizzas from our favorite pizza place.  The owner was so happy to see Miles after being gone for so long, she scooped him up and gave him hugs and kisses.   They know which kind we always get, and are always so pleasant.  

2 - Our landlords.  We seriously hit the jackpot with them.  I know others would argue, but for us our landlords are perfect.  They watch out for us, but aren't nosy.  They LOVE Miles and would do anything for us.  They know I love Italian cherries so when I got home today they had a large bag filled with ice cold cherries waiting for me.  

3 - No TV.  Everywhere you go in the states there are TV's.  Sure stores have them here...but restaurants do only rarely...and they are only on if the local soccer team is playing.  And we don't have TV in our home and I like it.  It gives us more time to interact with each other instead of vegging out in front of a screen.  

4 - My kitties.  Obviously.  >^..^<


Well, that'll have to do for now.  My bed is calling...and there is a nice breeze tonight so I think our room will dip below 80!   

3 comments:

Ashley Miller said...

Oh, man! I know exactly how you feel. We wandered around American grocery stores marveling at the wide aisles and low prices, exclaiming, "I love America!" It was so good to be back in a country where I speak the language and see the family. And although it was nice to get amazing mangoes and be back in our own bed two weeks later, it was super rough to come back to ridiculous traffic, my complete inability to remember the little Portuguese I have learned, and a freezer we had apparently left slightly ajar before we left. We realized that we do want to move back to the US someday, but maybe not Utah; the Church outside of Utah is more our style. :)

Glad you had a good trip and so many good things greeting you on your return.

Ann Herron said...

I get it! I totally remember freaking out after my mission at the number and variety of COLD CEREAL on the shelves. Ah, variety - it makes us better people, non?

Hannah Jerome said...

I'm going through all of this right now.... it doesn't help that we went down to our basement storage locker to find that our unit had been broken into and a bunch of stuff was stolen. And this is the second time we've been burglarized in the year we've lived here. Grrr. I feel like I have no right to complain or be unhappy since we asked to be stationed here again and knew what we were getting into, but it sure is hard after coming back from an amazing/clean/convenient/logical/safe/etc. time in the states! Just give me a week to mourn America and then I'll get over it and embrace life here again! :-)

(I think it's pretty funny how even Miles refused american pizza- we've all totally become pizza snobs!)