This month has been one to adjust too but not really at the same time. My life has been wake up, go workout well when I wake up early anyway, go to class, go eat, go home, chill, sleep start over. I don't know but this still doesn't feel Italian or does it? What is the "Italian Life" or is that even a life at all. Like this whole month has been people asking me "how's Rome?" "Hows the Italian Life?" and I say "lol it's good" and I know when I always respond to people who ask me this they think oh that's cool or I am too good for them but that's not the case at all. Yes I have had a culture shock and yes the way you conduct yourself here is different but at the end this life is the same. Don't get me wrong back home we have some luxuries that aren't really used here such as a dryer, an air condition, their are not big skyscrapers in this city of 5 million people, their is not a big shopping mall or supermarket where you can fall all of your needs, everything is spread out and some times you may have to go to a multiple of different stores to find what your looking for. So the answer to everyone's question how different is Italy from the USA all I have to say is besides the luxury of getting everything you need or want on demand, then really nothing.
I know when I say this you are thinking maybe I am not just not getting in the culture good enough or it is because I don't speak the language fluently but I just have to say this semester has been one to remember but at the same time this life style isn't American and it is not Italian it is Western. What I have come to realize this month is that my whole life I have been thinking that life is different in other countries and when I lived their it would be so different from the USA, but the thing is it is but it isn't. I think what I failed to look at before coming here is that this is a Western country and going to Italy or really almost any country in Europe would be the same feeling of life style besides the differences in cultural expectations, languages, and their own nationalist practices. I know when I say this other people may have other opinions and I am open to them for discussion but that is just how I see things right now.
Like I said in the beginning about my life here in Rome, it is very straight forward but that is not just me it is the Italian's as well. They do the same thing really they get up, work out, go to work, come home, make dinner, possibly go out an have a drink at a bar and socialize, go back home and start the day over again. How is it different from us back in the USA? That is basically an everyday life for us as well. If you are not convinced my professor Dr. Bessi had a substitute one day for us not because she was sick, or had a conference, and not even because she needed to day off for just herself, she took off because her son was starting middle school and they needed her to be their for that day. That sounds pretty similar to me and not too different from our parents back home in the states that take off of work to be at something that is very special to their children.
The final thing I want to address is politics, now I know some of you don't like politics, you don't like talking about it, you don't like thinking about it, hell you don't even like seeing it and I understand because it can be frustrating and sometimes I just want to forget about all politics and that's my life. What I am trying to get at is that their is another big thing that we think we don't have in common with other countries and that is government. Now believe me when I say this Italians hate their government just as much as we hate ours right now with our worst congress in history. What I have learned from my Western European Politics course is that Italy has had more prime ministers than we have had presidents in the past century and I wouldn't be surprised if it was longer. According to other Italians the politicians here launder money for personal desires just like ours do and even buy their way in through offices through the mafia, I know we don't have that in the states but I think we can compare it too big corporations supporting politicians as well. We can compare debt, policies, health care, foreign policy you name it but in the end they have the same if not similar issues we do so what's so different from us to everyone else in the world? What is different about the life our parents our living compared to everyone else in the world? Nothing
What I am getting at in this blog is that most of us think in this mindset that other countries are so different from us and don't get me wrong they are but the life styles are the same, and the people our too. The reason why we think it is different is because of the media and how they show their policies and what countries are doing and what they have here and there. Yes every country has different cultures, different languages and dialects, but the life styles are the same and these individuals are just like you and me. And that is they are trying to make a life for themselves and their families. This may be off topic but I have the privilege to meet an Italian diplomat and he told me "democracy is not about freedom of speech, it is about what puts food in me and my families belly". This is everywhere in the world including countries that don't have a democracy. What that means is that no matter what is going on in their country or the world, all people care about is that when they go through their everyday lives they want to make sure they have food on the table, a roof over their head, able to stay healthy and live good and when they have that the people going with their life styles of wake up, exercise, go to work/school, come home, sleep, repeat. I am not going to say that what I am experiencing is like every country in the world because I haven't lived in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe, or even Asia, but what I can say is this life I have is a western life and this process style of life I am living is one that we all share throughout the world, and in the end we shouldn't feel so different from people who live in other points in the world, but think of each other as equals and try to make the types of lives who are less fortunate better. We are all brothers and sisters of a big world yes some of us our more richer or poorer than the other, but in the end we mostly all go through are lives the same way but in different environments. It's time we stop looking at other people from other countries as different but instead look at them as equals because in the end they are just like you and me.