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Monday, November 14, 2005

The Italy Blues

When I first arrived in Italy I saw the grand old buildings, the museums filled with great works of art and the wonderful scenery with amazing views of natural beauty.
Italy was a quaint village, all the way down to its cobblestone streets.
I ate the best food and drank the best wine and coffee. I saw friendly people that said goodbye when you left their store.

3 and a half long years later, I am singing a different tune.
Those grand old buildings that I once admired are now rundown, uncared for buildings that are in need of new paint, or repairs or just something, and the cute cobblestone streets I now see are overrun with large quantities of trash.
Instead of seeing all the great works of art I see the graffitti on the walls.
Now that I understand Italian better I understand that the people are not friendy, but the rudest I've ever seen.
When they say goodbye to you in the store it is a custom.
Italy is big on customs.
For genuine niceness it is just not the place to be. I no longer see a quaint village in Italy but a society that is hopelessly stuck in the 1800s when it actually offered the word something.

What changed ?
Not Italy. Things never change here. Must have been me.

What has happened to me to turn this Italy admirerer into an Italy non-admirer ?
Could it have anything to do with needing to fill out 300 different forms for a service, only to find out that what's good for one area of government is not good for the others ?
(Example: What's good for the police at customs is not good for the Italian Motor Vehicles Department)
Yes, the bureacratic inefficiency here is a nightmare.

Is it that I can't seem to find a job due to legalized age discrimination ?
Jobs here post a maximum age, usually in the low 20s. I am in my mid 30s. Therefore, I am an unemployable old hag.
Could it be that when I miraculously do find a job with either a bad contract or an illegal "black" job I either get paid very late and after days of bitchy phone calls, or maybe not at all ?

Perhaps if I were able to attain some liveable standard of economic stability I would not feel this way. I am frustrated beyond belief.

I definitely have the Italy blues.