Thursday, 19 January 2012

Right on time??

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
When you're living abroad, you will experience things that are different from what you're used to in your homeland; things that you have to get used to, accept and learn to live with. Some of the things you won't have any trouble accepting, while others will be more difficult. And one of the things that I haven't learnt to live with (yet) is the fact that the Italians are unable to be on time for anything

If you ask the Italians themselves they will probably tell you that they're on time, but to me it doesn't mean you're on time if you show up half an hour late for your appointment. To me that means you have little respect for other people's time. But unfortunately for me the Italians look at time in almost the same way they they look at rules and regulations; something that is not carved in stone, but open for their own individual interpretations. Like when you hit a red light while driving at night and there's not a single soul in sight. No need to stop and wait for the green light, right?? And if they have a date with friends at 09 in the morning they might show up at 0930 or 1000 if they were out until late the night before...  And if you invite someone for dinner they might knock on your door an hour or two after the intended time because they just had to tend to something else first.... (Sort of just like Alfie Atkins....)

Last week my sister-in-law was going to pick up me and my mother-in-law to give us a lift to a given destination at 1515. I stood waiting outside my house at 1505 and my mother-in-law showed up at 1515. But my sister-in-law was nowhere to be seen. We waited and waited and waited.... At 1545 my mother-in-law called her to ask where she was. I'm just leaving the house now, was the answer she got
. Still, it took a good 25 minutes extra before she turned up... happy.... seemingly unaware of the fact that she was nearly an hour late.... Oh well...
 

My husband knows that I'm not very happy when he's too late for lunch or dinner so he's doing his best to ring me when he's going to be delayed. We usually have lunch at 1230 and the other day he rang me at 1215, ie. fifteen minutes before lunch. And can you imagine what he told me on the phone?
 

- I don't know if I manage to get home by 1230 today, but I'll call you back in half an hour to tell you if I'm going to be on time.....

(So what he's really saying is that he will call me at 1245 to tell me if he manages to get home by 1230.....)

 ??????!!

 

15 comments:

demie said...

i can`t help not to laugh, i am sorry!
but its so typical "south" the hole thing!

... but we have to see that he `s really trying though ; P

A Foreigner in Italy said...

No need to be sorry for laughing. It's all we can do, really...

And yes, he gets credit for trying. It's not his fault he was born Italian.... ;-))

New Life in Spain said...

Wow, tro det eller ei, men jeg så ikke denne posten før nå, og har tidligere i dag postet om samme tema!! :) Begynner å forstå at mangel på konseptet om tid og tidsnok er noe jeg må lære meg...men det sitter langt inne. Og jeg ser jeg ikke er alene... Fint det siste avsnittet der ;)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Det sitter veeeeldig langt inne. Tror de fleste nordmenn har problemer med å forholde seg til dette. Jeg har "revet meg i håret" i flere år nå og har begynt å innse at jeg nok bare må akseptere at slik er det. Søreuropeerne har ikke den "innebygde" klokken som vi nordeuropeere har.
Og siden jeg ikke klarer å omvende en hel nasjon så må jeg bare innse at slaget er tapt...

Kanskje vi nordmenn i utlandet burde kaste klokkene våre og komme til avtaler akkurat når det passet oss??

Anonymous said...

Cara LINDA,
pur essendo italianissima,sono puntuale in modo
maniacale:arrivo sempre per prima sul posto di
lavoro,a qualsiasi appuntamento devo essere lì
almeno 10 minuti prima,altrimenti mi prende
l'ansia, che ci posso fare?Dai,almeno tuo marito
ti avvisa per il ritardo,ci sta provando ad essere
puntuale!!!!!!Buona serata,
LILIANA

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Ciao cara, ma tu sei esattamente come me... ;-) come riesci a "sopravvivere" quando gli altri sono sempre in ritardo?

È vero che mio marito sta provando ad essere puntuale e per questo sono molto grata. Ma per spiegare ai norvegesi come fanno gli italiani ho raccontato la storia della telefonata. Per un norvegese una telefonata così è quasi assurdo. Ma secondo me anche un pò "carino" ;-) Buona serata anche a te.

New Life in Spain said...

Haha, ja jeg antar at flertallet vinner i denne situasjonen her! Jeg liker forslaget ditt om å kaste klokka og dukke opp når det passer oss, men jeg er redd det sitter enda lengre inne enn å simpelthen bare komme for sent, og jeg gjør visst ingen glimrende jobb på den fronten heller...

Anonymous said...

Questo blog e´molto interessante,,,io invece sono un´italiana di ROma che a 30 anni ha conosciuto il grande amore della sua vita...un finlandese e ora vivo in FInlandia...mi manca sempre Roma,...il clima,,il cibo...il sole...per caso stai su facebook? Baci..Dona Foa

Vesle Serena said...

Yes. So true. I am italian & my father is very italian. I love him bur he is ALWAYS late. Even when my daughter was baptized, he came in the church late. He almost missed the whole thing. He simply doesnt like to wait for other people, therefore he comes LAST. To me its not even funny anymore, but maybe if I still lived in Italy I would learn to live with it... :)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

To learn to live with it is the only thing one can do. If not I would go completely crazy ;-)

greatgreekfood said...

I'm TRYING to be late myself when I'm in Greece, because I hate waiting, but I think "Be on time" is in my blood or my genes. It doesn't matter how much I try, I never manage to be more than 10 minutes late - ever!

A Foreigner in Italy said...

The Norwegians are "born and raised" to be on time. The "whole" norwegian society is on time. So yes, I believe it's in our blood. It's part of our DNA ;-) And even the thought of being late makes me physically ill. To me, it's just as difficult to stop being on time as it is to permanently change the colour of my eyes...

Askeline said...

Sorry, but I'm also laughing. It's a very good story. Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

A me alla scuola di norvegese hanno insegnato che i norvegesi per educazione arrivano sempre un quanto d ora dopo l´ora dell´invito. Le mie due ultime esperienze 2012 con i tuoi connazionali, e siamo solo all´inizio dell´anno: la mia collega invitata per colazione si é presentata 60minuti dopo senza neanche telefonare,messaggiare o semplicemente scusarsi all´arrivo. La vicina del piano di sotto invece nn si é neanche degnata di venire ad avvisare che nn si sarebbe presentata come accordato, e cosi potrei andare avanti (o a ritroso) edizione 2011,2010 ect.

un´italiana in norvegia

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Secondo me sei stata davvero sfortunata perché la maggior parte dei norvegesi siano puntuali. Però, esistono persone maleducate (anche) in Norvegia... ;-)

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