Wednesday 16 July 2008
Italy - take it or leave it...
I have been thinking that perhaps I will not leave Italy after all... I was contemplating moving to Cyprus, Greece, the Canary Islands... but bel ragazzo and I were talking last night and maybe we will stay in Italy.
Who knows? I am so confused and that silly old sign that I've been waiting for still has not shown its face! Come on....I need some help here with my decision making. Just a teeny little sign would be enough.
Those who know me will be laughing as they read this as I change my mind one million times a day. I always have many thoughts going through my head (the same as everyone else) except I voice all my million thoughts.
Bel ragazzo does not care where in the world we go just as long as there is a beach - no more city living in the summer time. So now we are contemplating Sorrento. I have been there before and it is a beautiful town, just down the (cliff hanging)road from the glitzy resorts of Positano and Amalfi, a short boat trip away from Ischia and Capri, and if I crave city life I can hop over to Napoli in no time at all.
Why am I thinking of staying in Italy you ask? Was I not saying I wanted to experience new cultures and life? Yes, I was saying that. However I am scared of foreign countries a bit. After living in Portugal. The areas that I saw were literally overrun with tourist - mostly British. There were Irish pubs and English breakfasts signs as far as the eye could see...the town of Albufeira WAS PRACTICALLY ENGLAND only with better weather. Seriously it was that bad.
I am worried that the Canary Islands and Greece will be just the same and I cannot bare the thought of living in a new place for 8 months if the place has given it's soul to the tourist market. I have been to many of the Greek Islands and I do love them, but the parts in which I would be working would cater very heavily for the British market...perhaps the islands are best saved for a holiday where I can chose which parts to go.
I know I work for a British travel company so I am going to always be surrounded by Brits, but at least here in Italy I can be certain that Italy will never, ever in a million years let the tourist market take over and change what already was. Italy is an arrogantly proud country with a 'take it or leave it attitude.' You see that especially in Rome: the streets are dirty, the metro is a joke, and prices are astronomical...yet the tourists come. The tourists will always come as Rome is the Eternal City - the Colosseo is not going anywhere, nor is the Vatican or the Trevi Fountain. You will struggle to find an Italian bar serving English breakfast, you will struggle to understand the people, you will get fed up with the poor customer service, you will bitch and moan about the heat, the pollution, the cost, the dirt, the beggars the...the list goes on.
The bottom line is you will come to Italy because Italy is simply Italy.
You will come to Italy because all those things you don't like are secretly those things you love: the chaos, the passion, the craziness, the confidence, the food, the beauty, the language, the history, the people, the attitude, the country, the life.
I cannot deny it - I am one of these people. I often complain, yet I don't want to leave. Italy has cast it's magical spell upon me and I think a lot of you reading this will understand me completely. Once you are here it is hard to find a more beautiful place to live and work. Once you are here you want to stay.