Friday, 25 May 2012

Things I'm missing in Italy...

After a while of living abroad you will probably realize that there are things from your home country that you're missing in your new life. It might be stupid, but there are a few things from Norway that I really miss. Apart from family and friends, that is....

1. Long summernights when the sun "never" sets. This depends on where in Norway you are living. If you're as far north as the North Cape you have the Midnight Sun, i.e in the summer you have daylight 24/7.  In Bergen where I was living the sun sets around 2300-2330 and it gets dark around 0200AM. And then sunrise is around 0400 AM. Which means that you have only 2 hours of "dark" night. For some people this might sound like a nightmare because they don't understand how we manage to sleep when it's plain daylight outside. However, the Norwegians are used to this, and this is something I really miss. So, one year I have to go back to Norway for my summer holiday....

2. Usually when you are finished eating dinner (supper, tea) in Norway we thank whoever has prepared the food (which means that before you leave the table you say "takk for maten" to your mum, your dad or the hostess if you've been invited to dinner at a friends house. "Takk for maten" literally translates as "thank you for the food" or "grazie per il cibo" which might sound a bit strange in English/Italian - and maybe also other languages.). It might sound strange, but I feel really rude, impolite, ill-mannered when I can't express exactly what I want. I usually say "grazie", but it still doesn't feel "right".

3. Since I'm already talking of food, I can admit that I'm missing the Norwegian "brunost" (brown cheese). I guess that brunost is to Norwegians what Vegemite are to Australians.... My Norwegian family is always bringing me brunost when they come to visit, but unfortunately I finish it off too fast... A funny story (that wasn't quite as funny when it happened) is the time when they stopped me in the security check at the airport and they went through my cabin bag and almost cut it open with a knife to see what was inside.... My bag was full of brunost and it so happens that on the computer screen this cheese looked a bit like the stuff they use for making bombs...(!) You know, the "play dough" they use in films to connect the bomb.... So, what have I learnt from this? To put the brunost in the suitcase I'm going to check in....

4. Oat flakes. That is, you can buy oat flakes here (and it will cost you an arm and a leg....), but it's not the oat flakes you can use for making porridge. Here they mix it in soups (minestrone) and no matter how long you boil the stuff, it won't turn into porridge.


5. Tooth picks (!?) Of course you find toothpicks here, but they have the size of a telephone pole and is unsuitable for cleaning your teeth. They use it mostly for "stuzzichini", that is finger food....


6. Tea leaves. This is incredible I think. I've looked everywhere and I can't find ONE place that sells  loose tea leaves.( One second thought, maybe not so incredible after all, since "no one" drinks tea in this country...)


7. Brown bread/bread with cereal, nuts, seeds etc. This is something that is dearly missed. I know you can find brown bread some places here in Italy (mostly up north in the country, but also in Toscana...), but where I live there isn't ONE single place that sells brown bread. Because of this I'm making my own bread at home, but the downside of that is that the brown flour will also cost you an arm and a leg. You have to pay around 2 euros for 1 kilo of brown flour! Oh well. The good news is that LIDL has opened a supermarket not far from here and they sell self raising (brown) flour so maybe this is my "salvation"...?


8. To be able to say something funny without even thinking.. It might sound weird, but it isn't easy being funny in another language. Many times I think of something funny to say (in Norwegian), but then it isn't possible translating into Italian (it might be because of cultural differences or it might be that it just isn't funny anymore when it is translated) and other times it happens that when I've translated the phrase into Italian the moment has passed....

9. The rain from my place back in Norway. (Bergen, where it rains more than any other place in Norway....) So, every now and then I miss the "clean" feeling after a heavy shower of rain, or I miss the sound of the rain. (Nothing is like going to sleep at night when the rain is pouring down outside...) The last couple of times when it has rained here I've put on my wellies (rubber boots, stivali di gomma), my raincoat and brought the umbrella and then I've gone for a loooong walk.


10. This is really a silly one. I miss the special "broom" with a unit for "clipping on" the cleaning rag. (Which means the cleaning rag never falls off by accident when you're cleaning the floors!) In addition to being a smart device it's also long enough for me to use. Here in Italy all the brooms are just to short so I end up with backpain after cleaning... (Yes, I know. I'm complaining! I just needed to get it off my chest....)

I guess that was all for now. I just want to add - because there seems to be people that are misunderstanding what I'm writing on this blog - that I'm not writing this because I feel superior to others or that I hate Italy or the Italians. I wouldn't be living here at all if that was the case. So maybe my next blog post should talk about what I like about living here? Will do!!

And oh... Sorry for not putting in any pictures in this post. At the moment I don't have access to my own computer with all my pictures. Will add pictures later. Have a nice week end everyone!

8 comments:

Milla said...

hahaha, they have stopped me more than once with brown cheese in my hand luggage. At one point the australian customs thought I was crazy, I offered them a piece to try and they loved it! :)

A Foreigner in Italy said...

Well, they might be right you know... Maybe we are a bit crazy.... (??!)

I have heard of a lot of different reactions to the taste of the brown cheese. Some people describe the taste as caramel-ish (which isn't far from the truth...)and they love it. Others say it tastes like play dough (?!?!)and Jamie Oliver who tasted real brown goat cheese said it must have been a very ugly goat..... My italian husband hates the brunost as for him all cheeses ought to have a slightly salty taste so I get all the brunost to myself ;-))

Anonymous said...

Cara LINDA,
bentornata!è normale che tu senta la mancanza
di tante cose che ti ricordano il tuo paese.
Quando io vivevo in Canada sentivo,come te, la
mancanza di sapori ed odori del mio paese,
soprattutto durante le festività di Natale e Pasqua.A mio marito,cresciuto in Canada,mancano
le donuts e il "kentucky fried chicken".Aspetto
le foto della nuova casa!Baci,
LILIANA

godgreskmat said...

Great post! I miss brown bread too. And the ability to be funny.

But what I miss the most when I'm in Greece, is the Norwegian air, the pure, clean air that always have at least a fraction of coldness in it.
In Greece the air is saturated with dust, aromas, heat, exhaust, humidity... one or all of them, depending on when or where.
Of course, after a while in Norway I miss the Greek air...

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

edmondlosson said...

ciao,ho visto il tuo blog, è veramente bello...anch'io sono un straniero in Italia e volevo dire che anche a me mancano quelli piccoli particolari del mio paese che magari qui non si trovano...tanto vale dire: tutto mondo è paese

SaritaAgerman said...

Really Interesting list - it's nice to see it from a Norwegian perspective. I find it diffiuclt to make jokes in Italian. I have to rely on facial expressions.

saritagerman.blogspot.it

Anonymous said...

I have had bad experiences with Norwegians from childhood....and find them repulsive ! I do not like these people one bit ! They are nasty, rude, arrogant, cold and UGLY ! They seem to be over-bearing, clumsy and gawky hunchbacks ! There is nothing "attractive" about them,...really ! One would have you believe they are the perfect Nordic Gods and Goddesses. Where ? They are milk-white pale and pasty, like a bunch of sickly anemic albinos ! Have big heads, high foreheads, bad and lifeless yellow baby-fine hair and truly are repulsive ! They all seem to suffer from some grossly over exaggerated "superiority-complex", too. The attitude being,....i am better than you ! They come from a frozen little nothing country and can offer me nothing ! The men all look "dainty" ,very non-masculine ,with no sex appeal. The women are worse....clumsy hunchbacks with huge square heads and big pickle noses. Their "cuisine" is also a real joke ! All they seem to eat is stale fratbreads (crackers), baby pickles, pickled herring and berries. This is their big feast ! That junk is not cooking,....and is little more than a bad snack ! Do not let these dregs get away with it either ! If you encounter one that rubs you the wrong way, and you will.....tell them off good !

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