» September 2005
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Italy in a nut shell is not very different from the US. I mean I would hate to dissapoint everyone but there are only a few differences. People, in general, do dress nicer than your average American. I haven't seen anyone walking around in sweat pants but it is also warm here I mean it is like Northern FL. Men typically wear a nice pair of slacks and an appropriate shirt, if they work at a market is construction then they would be wearing a t-shirt but everyone else (male wise) wears button downs. I saw two gentleman around lunch time in full three piece suit, they were probably just at home for lunch. Women seem to take up a wider range of fashion. Just like in the states some women care and others don't. So yesterday I saw women in t-shirts and jeans, hulter tops and jeans, tube top dresses- and let me tell you she was wearing a lot of make up that matched her dress, but most older (mid 30s and up) seem to dress in either long cotton dresses or in pants and button downs. Some exceptions will apply to the following statement but it seems like the wear more muted colors then we do I've seen alot of greys and blacks, some whites, deep burgendies, and shades of cream but not to many primary colors not even in the stores with as I said a few exceptions.
still to come . . . weather, the italian male a spieces in itself, and the view is great the hills are not.
Okay so Joc the weather is nice, so far it has been getting up in the low to mid 90s and the humidity is bearable. Yesterday it rained, not for to long, but we got to watch an awesome thunderstorm role in towards our balconies (we have two, one with a table and the other just large enough to stand on). And even though it is hot you don't see many people in shorts, I saw one man yesterday in shorts but all of the women wear pants of skirts/dresses. Anyway it is supposed to be nice for the rest of the week with the occasional storm but as of today I could state that storms don't last very long but we'll see how long that stays true.
The Italian male . . . what to say. Well even though Robert Langdon (from Angels and Demons/the DiVinci Code) thinks that the idealism of the sacred femine is dead I think that the Italian men would all disagree. But I would have to say that the don't hold American up there with the same esteem as their own women. I mean from what they've seen and heard on mtv, which is the only english chanel on our tv, I would hate to know what goes through their minds. From what I understand any girl that is blonde, true or fake, is associated with Britney Spears, meaning that the real girl the Italian male is meeting must be a slut and be "not so innocent". Since we've been here the girls have only gone out once by ourselves, luckly we were only approached by one group of guys but multiple stopped to take notice as a group of 4 u.s. women pressed on. And will I was just trying to get to the store a couple of my roommate stopped to rate the guys, I guess what is fare is fare. I also explained to my roommates the old world custom of inviting a man to you simply by saying hello. If you say hi to them, especially in their language, it is an open invitation; so while we are trying to teach a few basic words to my one roommate we have told her to be careful whom she chooses to use them on. While this is also not true about everyman it has been true about the one 60 to 80 yr old gentleman who undressed with his eyes even when we were with the guys, the police office in the airport to Allison and Jackie, and a few other man who find the biggest chest in the group and stare at it. But enough of that.
We have the most amazing view from out our window, and with all of the hills we can see out to the next major little town but let me tell you that there is a serious debate going on if we take the longer ruite to school everday or if we just walk up this huge hill, which could save us some time. I think we are going to take the longer ruite to be safer. The streets here are not like streets in the states, as they have been around for so long there are still coblestones everywhere, including some of the sidewalks.
Cars here are so small that instead of parrallel parking like we do the pull in head first, and they can because their cars are as long as our's are wide (the smart car is tiny). Everywhere you go there are bikes on the sidewalks, not motorcycles but mopeds and scooters. The most expensive car we have seen was some sort of jeep cherokee, which in the states might be cheaper but over here they would get all the option and then have to pay a ton on gas, which drives up the price- almost like the gov't is saying that if have to get a car that wastes our resources then you should have to pay out the wazoo for it.
Other than that everything is good and I will talk to all soon. I love you guys.