Shit flies

If the world flings shit at you do you change direction or face it head on because you think there may be a rainbow on the other side?

Day 3 and counting. The Polizia have 20 days to come visit me again. This means that I am held hostage for 20 days here. For someone as free-spirited as me this is pure torture. I know, I am being overly dramatic about it but I have always been a rebellious soul and this goes against every grain in my body based on principle alone. If you ever want to make me really angry just pin me down for 30 seconds. I will freak out. So yes, right now, I am freaking out.

It’s the weekend, so you can be sure the Polizia have better things to do such as watch pretty girls strutting around town in their Prada heels while chain-smoking and drinking double espresso’s. I don’t blend well with these types. Sure, I’ve got a nice pair of designer sunglasses, but I go for comfort 99% of the time which means I usually look like a bag lady who stole Paris Hilton’s sunglasses!

As someone who has worked in the tourist industry I can somewhat sympathize with the local authorities here. They have to put up with a lot of crap from rich, snobby people all the time. I know what that’s like and although there are just as many nice people as there are bad, sometimes you just lump everyone together and form an opinion. Unfortunately, this is not working in my favour at the moment.

I’m a humble girl who wants to share what I have with the rest of the world. But here in Italy there is a very clear class division between “us” and “them”. Why can’t they see that I am one of “them”? I want to be able to say “hey, I’m all alone up on this hill and would love to have some local friends come over for a chat and a coffee on the terrace with me.”

This “attitude” is nothing new to the world. It is in fact everywhere, but perhaps more obvious to me here. Once, we had three men here fixing the leaky roof. The first day at lunchtime they sat at out outdoor table and munched on their bagged lunches. The following day I wiped the table and put a nice table-cloth and some glasses with water out for them. Do you know what they did? They went out to the field to eat their lunch! They thought I put the cloth on the table for my husband and I! I had to urge them to come back to the table with waving hand motions to welcome them to eat in comfort.

My Italian language skills were very limited at that time and I kept asking them if they liked coffee. After some very strange looks it was understood that I was asking them if they would “like a coffee”. This is just one example of when you cannot literally translate a phrase by knowing only 2 words in the other language. “Piace caffe?” is like saying “Like coffee?” At least I think that’s what I was saying…my confidence in this language is still shaky and I am surprised my bilingual friends have not raked me over the coals yet for messing up my Italian references here. Perhaps they’re more forgiving than I give them credit for. : )


About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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5 Responses to Shit flies

  1. Elisa says:

    If it can be of any consolation, today I went to get my ‘residenza’ officially changed (I moved out, finally!) so now I’m too waiting for the vigili to call on me and make sure I live here properly and I’m not just trying to fraud our tax officers.

    Mal comune mezzo gaudio ( a pain shared is a pain halved).

    As for the ‘us vs. them’ thing, your comments are completely spot on. I too am guilty of this sort of generalisation. I think it’s mostly jealousy, in my case, because I’d probably sell one of my kidneys to be able to afford a cupboard there. 😛

    This being said, I’m sorry that the situation is making you feel isolated and lonely. *hugs*

  2. Well first of all congratulations on your new abode : )
    As for living “up here”, yes, the view is breathtaking and it really is a slice of heaven at times…but like everything, there are many pitfalls too. As you have met me, you know very well I am not a rich girl and having this place is truly dumb luck. The downside is that it is difficult to get to, the traffic is insane on weekends and it is expensive to keep up. I can’t come here in the winter much because the heating bill would be more than I make in 1 month teaching!

    Anyways, I do hope you will spare a weekend or two soon and come hang out with me here : ) After my husband leaves in May it will be pretty lonely here.

    • Elisa says:

      Thank you.

      Yeah, I know where you’re coming from, this is why I was talking about generalisations…I know the situation is not all ‘rose e fiori’ (as we say in Italian) for you!

      When you are free/ in need of some company, just send me a text, I’d love to meet you even here in good ol’ dreary Genova. 🙂
      Now that the move is finally over I should be a bit more free.

  3. mischa says:

    Would you be willing to explain why the police need to visit you? I’m confused. There must be a good reason but it seems really odd that you have to wait around for a police man/woman to verify that you live where you live.


    • I would explain if I knew why myself to be honest! From what I DO understand, the Gov’t needs to know HOW to tax you and this is determined on where you live…if you have a second home or cottage you are taxed more etc. So, to cheat the system many say they live in their cottages and then it is not considered a “luxury item”. I techinally live here because this is my husband’s house and where he has his residency and I stay with my mother in law in the city when he is at sea because I don’t know the language well and it is less difficult for me (you need to build fires to keep the house warm here etc.). But the Polizia must witness me “living here” in order to grant me permission to call this my residence. Because they know so many people “cheat” the system they police it. But when someone has a ligitimate case they don’t believe you.

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