I’ve been living in Italy for almost 2 years, married to an Italian for four years, together for six. After awhile, some of our cultural differences wear off onto each other. We take in each other’s cultures as our own. Obviously, as I live in his country, I take in more of his culture. I’m not sure Umberto has really taken in truly any American traits but he has accepted things for what they are and doesn’t find things about me odd anymore, such as eating sweet and salty food together.
The longer I live here, the more “Italian” I become.
Living in Switzerland I adapted to the cultural, but as the society was so multi cultural and my friends were other expats, I never truly adapted to assimilated into Swiss life. With Umberto, I’ve learned that each shape of pasta has a certain sauce and you should never put the wrong sauce with the wrong pasta. I’ve learned that “pasta in bianco” (pasta with only oil and parmesan) is for when you’re feeling under the weather, “minestrone” is for when you have the flu, “riso in bianco” when you have a stomachache, beer goes with pizza, not wine…etc. There are so many food rules! I really think they’re on to something though with not having coffee with milk after breakfast time… its now almost repulsive to me to drink a cappuccino in the afternoon.
Another profound characteristic of Italian culture is being ill and how you get ill. The cause of most illnesses is a draft of air, the air conditioning, the change of seasons, the pool, and wind. At first I thought it was all old wives’ tales but now I’m starting to believe there’s some truth in it. Maybe it’s not an entire truth, not the only cause, but these things may not help what it is already there (a virus).
Raffaello was very whiny Sunday morning and complained that his ear hurt. Once I finally got him down for a nap, I measured his temperature and he had a fever. As it was Sunday and it is rare that he is ill, we decided to take him to the ER. His diagnosis was an ear infection. He had no other symptoms, no runny nose, no cold. The doctor said it could have been due to cold drafts of air from the air conditioning or the pool. Maybe she’s right as he really had no other symptoms? Is the draft of air real? I am beginning to question my American thinking.
My little monkey on the mend after getting him from the hospital.