Why? Why not?

So, I’ve talked about some obvious differences in general living conditions here, right? Just for fun, here are some things I’ve found to be different than we’re used to in the US.  When my mom came to Italy over 20 years ago, she asked someone why there were chickens in the road (I don’t know where that was, but I don’t see that here). Their response was, “Why not?” Good point. So here you go!

Keys: They insert them what would be ‘upside down’ to us for all doors.Plugs: This is an obvious one, but thought I’d throw it in any way for those who haven’t been outside the country.Drying Dishes: Not here. They have kitchens set up so that the area you always put your dishes just happen to be above the sink and conveniently the bottom of the cabinet is missing! Instead, it has holes for the water to drip out of (into the sink) so it’s one less thing to do. Yahoo! I could get used to that.Mini appliances: The refrigerator and stove are smaller than ours.

Showers: As mentioned, they usually are all the kind with a detachable shower head. Some homes I’ve been in have them in the ‘regular’ shower position we’re used to. The home I’m in has it half-way on the wall. To take a conventional shower I’m used to takes longer as I end up sitting on my knees in the tub to have the ‘shower’ effect. Haha. Some places in Europe only have a shower head on the wall without a curtain and therefore the entire floor gets wet. Other places I’ve been have shower doors that are so tiny a typical American has trouble getting in. If I were a large, over 6 foot tall person….Europe would be a challenge!

Laundry: As mentioned, you must flip a switch on the wall to turn the power on to even operate the washing machine. There are few dryers here also, because it’s too expensive. Everything is hung on clotheslines.

Closets: Italians use either armoires or closets that look different than ours. There is plenty of storage in each room usually (at least in this house there is).Cintronella items: They don’t have citronella candles here to deter mosquitos – instead they use these little coils you burn like incense. Usually there’s a pack of 10 and it comes with one little metal stand to use. The tricky part is carefully separating the coils so they don’t break. I’ve stocked up and it’s helped eliminate my mosquito issues!Eggs: They don’t refrigerate them in the grocery store. They are literally on a shelf. They do all have dates on them though of when they expire. They do get replaced daily so they’re usually always pretty fresh. I asked Alberta about this and she said you have up to 3 days to buy them before they need refrigeration. Whatever!Pasta & Jarred sauce: They carry a huge variety of pasta here that we usually don’t see in the US unless you go to a specialty store. I love the variety! Jarred sauce is probably a no-no here, but I’ve had to buy some of course. They are smaller jars than we’re used to and have different flavors too. For being jarred, they’re pretty good (in my opinion).Animal Products: I was surprised while meandering through the grocery store to find frozen…octopus! As mentioned in previous post, you can also get the chicken packed up, with the head and all. Wow. I still have yet to take pictures at Coop.

Sundays are a day for rest. Yup – nothing is open on Sundays with the exception of the occasional ‘bar’ which is really a restaurant that sells Panini, maybe some desserts, and beverages. This particular weekend that’s an exception to this rule, as SGV is having a food festival in the street and the festa is happening, so this Sunday is pretty hopping around here. I slept in today and stayed in my PJs for hours – it was wonderful!

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4 Responses to Why? Why not?

  1. Stefani says:

    Wow, I’ve never seen that drying/dish storing method before! Neat! What a cool idea. It is funny how little things can be so different in other countries… I wonder why that is. Why would their kitchen appliances be smaller? Why would their washing machines take 2 hours? Why? I mean, Italians cook, right? So it seems like they of all people would appreciate larger refrigerators and ovens… and if there are laundry machines that can wash clothes in 20 minutes instead of 2 hours, why don’t they make and sell them in Italy? How odd.

  2. Melissa says:

    Hahaha you make me laugh! A few things I can speak to from living here:
    1) appliance are smaller because they get food more frequently and don’t need a ton of storage. Also, it’s my understanding they cost more and of course would use more electricity which also costs more.
    2) As for the washers – don’t know why they’re not like ours. They don’t have dryers because they are too expensive from what I hear. Ugh.

  3. Susan says:

    Great post!! I love reading stuff like this, the kind of stuff you only learn about when you are really living and experiencing another culture! These are the kinds of things you’d never find out if you were just staying in a hotel for a week. Fun! Love all the pics you post too. Will you be getting a new roommate now that the guy went back home?

  4. Melissa says:

    I’m glad you find this stuff fun. 🙂 I don’t think I’ll be getting a roommate the rest of the time I’m here. I asked and they said only if it was a last minute enrollment would I get another roommate. Therefore, I genuinely have the place to myself. It’s good and bad….good because I have the space I’ve wanted, yet at the same time I would love talking to someone too. It’s a catch 22. For now, I’m accepting it for being what it is.

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