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Sunday, November 06, 2005

But It Is Better HERE

A few weeks ago Buzzurro and I took a trip to Naples. We really liked it. Yesterday we had lunch with some friends (both Italian). As we often do, we spoke about how wonderful Naples is.

"But it is better HERE," responded our friend.
"Oh" Buzzurro asked "have you been there before ?"
"No" was the response.
Well. Excuse me but how can you know if one place is better than another if you've never been to one of them before ?
Italian people rarely move around. They live and die where they are born, where their parents were born and many generations before them were born too. They are not mobile people. This is fine with me. It is not a problem. If people want to stay in an area where their family has been for generations, that is okay.
What is NOT okay is that they dismiss all other places as being horrible, dangerous, dirty gutter-like places. This attitude irritates me more more than everything. It is a type of closed-mindedness. A type of ethnocentrism (ethnocityism if you prefer).
I am tired of hearing "The beaches in Tuscany are better than the beaches in Sardinia" from people who've never been there.
I wouldn't go to a tax specialist to discuss a heart problem, so please, if you don't know what you are talking about, shut up.
Back to the discussion with our friend, OK, It is true. Naples has some bad areas, and bad people in it, but so do most cities. Even HERE ! There are many places HERE that I would not go at night unaccompanied by an army unit.
Do the riots in France stop tourists from going to France ? NO. I'm sure at this moment there are thousands of them. Probably not in those rioting areas, but those areas were never tourist attractions in the first place. France has beautiful places to visit. So does Naples.
And so does HERE.