Monday, 19 September 2011

How I ended up in Italy - part 2

Image: digitalart /

Here's the last part of the story about how I ended up in Italy.

During my year in Florence it sometimes felt like I had an invisible hourglass in front of me, that counted down months, days, minutes and seconds until the dreaded day when I would have to turn my back to the Duomo and hop on the train to the airport to fly back home to Norway.

Fortunately this day never came.... And why not? Well, mostly because a pair of velvety brown eyes came into my life when I least expected it.... And from then on, things happend very quickly. Before my year in Florence ended the decision was made. I was just going back to Norway to sell my apartment and get rid of all my "earthly goods" and then return to Italy for good.

Back in Norway I started the process of getting rid of most of the things that I'd spent 25 years collecting. Some things I sold, others I gave away - my children took what they wanted or needed - and the rest I have to admit that I threw away. And 5 weeks later when I had sold my apartment I found myself on the plane back to Italy to start my new life in a small town midway between Rome and Naples. I brought with me 400 kilos of my "old life" (which really isn't very much, I can assure you) and half of it was photo albums, books, dvd's and cd's. 

So, now I'm living here in Italy, trying to "fit in". But believe me, even if Oslo and Rome are just 3 hours apart, the distance between Italians and Norwegians are bigger than "3 hours". It takes time to adjust to another culture and there's actually a big difference if you marry into an Italian family or if you take with you your Norwegian family and move to Italy. When you are part of an Italian family you automatically get to live life the Italian way, but if you live here with your Norwegian family you can live the way you're used to from Norway and just pick what you want from the Italians....

The work situation in Italy is not good. It's difficult to get a job and if you get one you might discover that they pay you 600 euros a month, not even enough to pay the mortgage for a house or an apartment... At the moment I'm not working; however, my husband is running a pub and I help out whenever it's needed.

One year ago we got ourselves a dog; which I have discovered, is similar to having a baby.... You can't do anything without taking the dog with you.... Which meant that I spent a lot of time at home. And so I ended up in the world of bloggers...

This is Bella, 2 months old

What I can tell you about living in Italy as a foreigner is that it's not difficult at all getting used to go to the restaurants, eating wonderful food and drinking superb wine, watching the sun set and listening to the chef in the kitchen who's singing "o sole mio".  But this is not everyday life here. If you're living here you don't go to the beach every day, eating water melon or 

gelato (ice cream) while you're reading books and working on your tan. What you do is living a perfectly normal life, like I would do in Norway... the only difference is that there's an Italian "twist" to everything - which sometimes get on your nerves....

I have to say that I've learned something that I wouldn't have learned had I stayed in Norway - like there's so much in the world you can't change, you just have to live with it; that the bureaucracy in this country is "unbelieveable"; many things go wrong or don't go your way; "nothing" is done in time and if you have an appointment with someone at 2 o'clock they show up at 3 o'clock. (I'm a person that always show up when I'm supposed to so this is really hard for me to except, but slowly slowly I'm learning and accepting that this is how it is... )

However, something that makes both Foreigners and Italians stay in this contry is perhaps that

a plate of pasta

and a bottle of red wine

 is very comforting when life takes the wrong turn!



Anonymous said...

Ciao cara,(A proposito,come ti chiami?)
mi ha fatto piacere leggere la fine della tua
romantica storia,certo che sei stata molto coraggiosa,come del resto lo sono stata anche io
quando ho lasciato la mia famiglia per trasferirmi
in Canada dove viveva mio marito (avevo solo 19
anni)e come lo è stato anche lui quando dopo 10 anni siamo tornati in Italia e si sentiva"uno
straniero in Italia",pur essendo nato qui.Anche
lui aveva nostalgia del Canada,perchè li tutto
funziona alla perfezione,tutti rispettano il
codice della strada,ecc.ecc.come del resto in
Norvegia.Ti posso assicurare però che dopo 26
anni è cambiato e a volte si comporta peggio
degli italiani e io lo rimprovero!Sono sicura
che anno dopo anno anche tu ti sentirai sempre
un pò di più italiana,pur restando norvegese dentro!Baci,a presto!

theromanticrose said...

Carissima,sono felice che ti stai adattando bene in Italia!Anche a noi italiani piace il nostro cibo e la nostra cucina varia da paese e paese.Dal nord al sud,dove vai,vai,mangi sempre bene.Comunque,tu vivi in un paese del centro,forse per quello ancora non ti trovi bene al massimo perchè come dici tu,ti dicono questo non si fa,questo fa male ecc,ecc.Ma ti posso dire che in città ognuno pensa piu per sè e ti criticano di meno.L'importante è che tu sia felice con il tuo uomo.Baci,Rosetta.Se hai bisogno di chiedermi qualcosa sugli italiani,puoi scrivermi.Rosetta

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Ciao cara. Penso che tu sei più corragiosa di me che abbia lasciato la tua famiglia quando avevi soltanto 19 anni. E Canada è così lontano....!!

Chissà... fra qualche anno forse diventerò anch'io peggio degli italiani ;-)

A presto.

Dimenticavo... mi chiamo Linda. Per fortuna un nome che è pronunciabile per gli italiani :)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Ciao Rosetta, Spero che non sembra che mi lamento sempre della vita qui. Sto bene qui in Italia e sono per fortuna felice con il mio uomo. ;-)

Se un giorno ho bisogno di chiederti qualcosa sugli italiani, prometto di scriverti. Grazie tanto!


Anonymous said...

Pene, sjarmerende øyne kan endre alle planer på et blunk... Herlig historie!
Bredt smil, Anniken :)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Anniken: Rart egentlig at det ikke skal mer til for å kaste hele sitt gamle liv på båten.... For min del så var det vel egentlig gambling på høyt nivå siden jeg "brente alle broer" i Norge. Med det gikk bra :-)

New Life in Spain said...

Kjempegøy å lese historien om hvordan du endte opp med et nytt liv i Italia!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Takk for det. Vi er nok en del som har havnet i utlandet av (nesten) samme grunn... ;-)

Vesle Serena said...

Havnet i Norge av samme grunn jeg også, men det var vel en svenske som tok hjertet mitt...selv om nå er jeg sammen med en ekte haugesunder!! Veldig veldig gøy å lese bloggen din altså. Ha en fin uke, klem

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Det er tydelig at vi er flere som har havnet i "utlandet" på grunn av en mann....;-)

Kjekt at du liker bloggen. Ha en fin uke du også!

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for sharing your story.
I love reading it, and your blog makes me smile :o)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Thank you! It's nice if my blog makes people smile :-)

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