I saw a rainbow yesterday. It was a good thing too because I would like to take this opportunity to let everyone know that the grass is not necessarily greener over here in Italy.
Lots of people “ohhh” and “ahhh” when I tell them I am Canadian and live in Italy. But like everywhere else on the planet, it’s a nice place to visit, but are you sure you want to live there? When I lived in the Cayman islands I was spoiled with sunshine and the beach, and yes, life was easy, but also quite boring. (unless your idea of a quality life is sipping pinacoladas all day on the beach…hey wait a minute I think I made a wrong turn at Albuquerque Bugs!)
A typical day for me in Italy is not all vino and pizza parties (secretly I am still hoping for this). No, for me a typical day is waking up to the dog barking in the upstairs apartment, trekking down a long flight of stairs and a curvy road while battling the wind and rain and then getting on a crowded, smelly bus.
Then of course there is Italian school and work.
If there was one word I could use to describe the life in Italy I would say “hard”. Everyone thinks it’s “La Dolce Vita” the “The Sweet Life”, but have any of those people who use this phrase actually lived and worked in Italy?
I was walking back up that long and curvy road home one evening when I was suddenly taken aback by an elderly lady carrying loads of groceries slowly up the hill (she didn’t have a dog so I didn’t have to yell at her to scoop her poop). I thought to myself this is insane, where is her car? Where is her husband, kids, grandkids and why are they not all here helping her? I stopped and asked her if I could give her a hand (in my bastardized Italian of course), io aiuto signora?
From what I understood, she was 76 years old! We walked very slowly up the road and then when we reached my turn she said “grazie” and continued on. I would have helped her further but I wasn’t entirely sure if we reached her home or if maybe she needed to sit on a rock for 10 minutes to rest and didn’t want to keep me waiting.
Anyways, the next time you go through your drive through bank and then continue to pick up your lunch at the drive through window and then continue to get your oil changed at the drive through, think of that little old lady walking up that curvy road with 4 bags of groceries and ask yourself this: who really has the sweeter life?
Don’t get me wrong, I like living here because I am realistic enough to know that the grass is never greener somewhere else…but I also wonder if I will think differently when I am 76 years old and carrying bags of groceries up a lonely road.