Tuesday, July 27, 2010

“We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”

There is no place like home, but keen to make this our new home I am determined to accept all those differences and make them normal to our new life.

Second day in our new home and I am vacuuming our new Ikea carpet that is covered in mess from unpacking and building our Ikea shelves, I am told confidently “Stop now mummy, it is too loud, I cannot hear the tv!” I am unsure at this stage whether or not she realises that she is watching cartoons in Italian, a language that she does not comprehend (that I know of). Back to Ikea for a moment, anyone who knows me is quite aware of my love for Ikea and their pack of 100 candles and white pots, so it did not take us long to venture there for a home necessity shop. I was pleased to find Ikea is mirrored no matter the country apart from a few vital changes to adapt to the Italian lifestyle. A large television is in the canteen replaying Italian football games (soccer to the Aussie reader), wine and beer is purchased for a couple of euro with your meatballs and you can be given a cage on a trolley so your small dog may enjoy your Ikea experience with you also!!!

Every day I seem to notice something not quite right (by my narrow minded Australian standards), but I am learning to adapt and keep telling myself I am like Alice and this is my wonderland. I am quick to learn a few things; when you are driving 1 lane really means 3; if you would like to go into a shop or grab a coffee and cannot find a park “allora” just stop in the middle of the street and put your hazard lights on; zebra crossings simply signify the place best to sprint across the road and appear to be the bulls eye on the dart board for cars and moped drivers (very quickly have flashbacks to grade 4 trying to run in and out of skip rope without falling over, only this time I have a baby and toddler hanging from limbs).

Hubby and I joined the gym next door in hope to regain fitness and to perhaps counteract our new love of bread with dinner every night. It appears that we have joined a ‘skinny and sweatless’ gym. You have to look good and it is imperative that you make your workout look easy as you are not to sweat at any stage (thought that you joined a gym to lose weight but it appears everyone took care of that before enrolling). When I asked (or got hubby to ask, still struggling a bit with communication without hands) about a water machine to drink from, we were directed to the small vending machine with aqua and sports drinks. This stood next to the huge espresso machine – a few quick caffeine shots in between sets anyone? I am still adjusting to this countries love of coffee. Bars / cafes are on every corner and also in between, there is usually no sitting involved, just a few quick espresso shots thrown back while standing. I am told that we must by an espresso machine in order to be fully accepted into the Italian culture (this said of course by my caffeine jittery husband). Do not see the point at this stage as coffee is under 1 euro most places. Coffee vending machines have also been spotted on tourist buses, car parks and shopping centres. Can I blame their crazy driving on the caffeine buzz?

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