Tuesday 4 October 2011

The road to good-bye.

I moved to Italy in April 2006. It had been my dream, my obsession to live here. I had been living in London for 2 years, went back to Australia to give it a go and lasted 8 months. I went back to London and then finally my dream turned into reality as I made the move to Rome.

Why was I obsessed with Italy? I can't explain why I had to live in this country, I had this internal tug pulling me to the place. Many readers and fellow bloggers I think will understand. Maybe my subconscious knew that bel marito was waiting. I met him 6 months after moving here and we have been together ever since, now married with a beautiful bel bambino.

I experienced the best of Italy. I have travelled the country far and wide, big cities, small hidden villages, through the mountains and the sea and back. I have lived in Rome, wow, Rome the eternal city, to think that I lived there and properly lived there for a long time.

But that's just the problem. When you live in a place, and I mean really live in a place you see and experience it in a different way. Working for the British travel company I was ignorant. We got paid in sterling into my British bank account, our apartments in the centre of these cities, these towns were paid for. At the beginning I was never in need of a doctor or a hospital, I had never set foot into a public school, never worked with an Italian company, never knew that corruption, scandal and out right lies was the way of the Italian world.

Bel marito opened my eyes to a lot of things and when we met he was all in favour of moving to Australia. It was I who had the dream of Italy, I who wanted to live the Italian life, I who wanted to stay. So we stayed, we worked, we travelled, we got married, we had a baby and now I think of what he wanted all those years ago.

Ever since bel bambino came into my life it is hard to be positive here in Italy. I am happy, I really enjoy my new job but that's not enough. Bel marito has been out of work for sometime. His company had not paid him for months and months (which is not uncommon here) and when they finally, slowly started to pay, they closed down. They tried to move him to a different area with pay so poor and a job he hated that we both agreed he shouldn't go. Italians live a fearful life. Many here in the south have poorly paid jobs that they hate, but they are too scared to leave. They know that there is next to no work out there. Employers play on this fear and give low wages, make you work cash in hand, or give you pointless contracts. I don't like this at all. I come from a country where if you want to work you can work, where getting paid on time is not a bonus but the norm. At job interviews here they say 'and we pay on time too.' This should not be a selling point it should be the way!

Here in the south (I don't know about the north as I have only ever lived in the south) finding work depends on who you know. If you don't know anyone important or influential then your chances of finding a good job are scarce. Bel marito knows people but he doesn't want to rely on them to find him a job. What happens if they find him a job he hates? He will be obliged to stay there won't he? Rather he stays at home and looks after the bel bambino. He is the best husband and the best father in the world.

We can't go on like this. Alone, without a bel bambino if you're not sick and have an ok job then life can be great. It was for us before. But with a baby, with the need to go to the doctor and the hospital often,with a view towards the future....well....

When bel marito and I talked about our future we could never envision it. We started renovating the country house but our future plans were grey. You know when you can see your future clearly planned out, or at least what you think your future will be? Maybe you think 1, 2, 10 years ahead and imagine where you will be. We tried doing that, but over and over again bel marito used to say he could not see which way our future would go. We were trying to live the Italian life but the vision just wasn't clear.

After reading this and my last posts I think you know that our vision has cleared, it is no longer grey but a bright white of possibility. Yes, in answer to your questions we are hopefully going to go. Back to Australia. A country which can give bel bambino endless possibilities. And us too.

It is going to be a long and hard road to get there. We need to apply for a partner visa for bel marito to migrate. We need proof of our relationship, finances, life together and a lot of proof which I hope after digging around we have. We haven't applied yet as the application is big, we are still in the hunting and gathering stage. But at least the vision finally is clear.

I thought I would be sad at the prospect of leaving my beloved Italy but I'm not. I want to leave this country with beautiful memories and I fear that if I stay too much longer my memories will not be so sweet.


Canedolia said...

This is such a sad, sweet post. Having worked on and off in Italy, I share so many of your feelings about it - so beautiful, so wonderful and yet so corrupt and difficult to live in. For as long as I've read your blog, I've admired your optimism and positivity and I think you can truly say you've given Italy a good chance. Keep your happy memories and don't spoil them with regrets. Just look forward to the next adventure! Wishing you all the best!

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Thanks Canedolia,
I am glad you know what I am talking about. So wonderful to live here but so difficult just like you said.

Giulia to Julia - Italy to Australia said...

Hi Leanne...I read your answer to my message in the other post. And...yes, I'm Italian. I've been in Mildura (VIC), then we flew to Gold Coast and now we are going to relocate to Perth...hopefully definitely. And I really don't think we wiil be back to Italy in the next year. It's probably easier to catch up here, even if it's hard to arrange since distances in Oz seems to be so HUUUUGE!

Reading your new post....I was not so much surprised. Well, I know that the idea of the South of Italy can be attractive...I did it!!!!!! And I know you can feel so excited in finding out landscapes, traditions, people geatures and so on. But, as you said, work is a trap since you can get it only through someone you know and, even if you nor like it you nor are paid, you cannot leave it just because "someone" helped you finding it!!! And few words I want to spend about hospitals because you have more experience than me because you're a mom. But I had a horrible experience in there!

By and large, I'm glad to read that you guys took the decision to come back to Oz...because I also know how life is here. And I'm especially happy that you are going to do it before bad memories can exacerbate positive ones...which is what happened to me and this is a great regret that makes me feel so sad when I think to my last years in my homeland.

You guys really deserve a bright future and for your bel bambino as well. Experiences can only enrich our life, but we also need to change as soon as they can turn into a trap and beautiful memories can vanish....

Sorry for such a long message, but it's something I deeply feel in my heart.

Well, now keep it positive, smile and plan with energies your new future!! And keep on writing please...I really like the way you write and are! It makes me feel understood.
You will ace it!!! I'm absolutely sure!

Have a lovely day

Carolina said...

Hi Leanne,
Strange how when the child comes, everything really changes. Sounds like we have had similar paths in our lives. I wish you all the best and truly DO understand! I was in Malito for six years before we moved back to California and I still miss it- the good parts of it- but know we did the right thing for our lives and lives of our boys. I hope you are able to bring Anthony back to Malito for summers so he can have that connection to Giuseppe's family and all those good things about the village. I know we have done the right thing to provide the best life we can to our family, and you are doing the same....all the best and hopefully someday we can meet for that barbeque we missed out on last summer!

J said...

You're coming back to Oz! Yay! Good luck with the visa stuff. My experience with it was amazing (got my visa in 3 days, though it was a student visa). I only have good things to say about Australian immigration bureaucracy if that makes you feel better. :)

I know what you mean about wanting to leave Italy before the bad memories overtake the good ones. I almost feel like I left France too late because I was really unhappy at the end. But I couldn't stand the daily struggle of no real career or decent income and it does seem like it's becoming a problem in more and more European countries. I still love Europe and want to go back to travel around more, but I will never be more than a tourist there. I can't imagine ever living there again.

Leanne was in Italy now in Australia said...

Hi Giulia,

Thanks for your message and hopefully we will make it down under like you soon!

Hi Carolina,
You of all people understand cause you lived just down the road from us here. We need to think of bel bambino and his future is not here. See you at the BBQ next time with stories to tell!

Hi Jennie,

Yes, I shall be moving hopefully your way soonish. Hope the visa process will be ok for us like it was you!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

Leanne, I know exactly how you must be feeling. I must same I'm a little envious of you. I ask myself at least once a day what I'm doing living here and dream of going back to Scotland or even moving to Australia! At the moment it's not really an option and I'm unsure if we'd be any better off in Scotland. I'm hoping that things will improve in Italy but as time goes on it's seeming unlikely.

Jim said...

Da hell are you guys doing living in the South? Lombardia is one of the wealthiest parts of Europe, part of the Blue Banana (look it up) as they call. Milano is where the money's at. The south will never be on par with the north, it's a mafia ridden corruption infested part of the world, albeit a gorgeous one landscape wise. But you should've moved to Milano (how did it English mess that up by cutting the o which makes it sound better, Milan sounds like crap), once you had the bel bambino

Jim said...

Oh and not to mention the north is quite amazing as well with the beautiful mountains on the boarder with Germany, 4 seasons and towns like Torino nearby Milano, not to mention the jaw dropping Lake Como.