I guess that before anything, I should explain how I have ended up in Italy. I had been living in London for five years when I made such a hasty move.I was sickly tired of London, feeling extremely down and completely exhausted with the lifestyle. A huge, wonderful place, that I love to bits, very much, but very difficult to live in. Especially for someone like myself, full of aspirations and dreams and provided with a bit of strength and intelligence, but no degree or proper qualification. I went to London for a university break and never came back. I fell in love madly with the city and thought I'd stay. After 5 years of bar work, coffee shops work, waitress work, and a lastly horrendous (but fairly well-paid) job as a sales consultant for a mobile phone shop (you can check more about this sort of work in the UK watching this: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/phoneshop. Not the best show in the UK, though, but quite accurate in some ways), I had just had enough. Everything I had been planning for three years never worked, no matter how hard I'd fought, and with my stressful work making my hair fall out (literally), I decided it was time for a change.
I've chosen Italy primarily because that's where a part of my family is from, even though I had been in here only for tourism and spoke no Italian (still don't speak, by the way). So I thought that discovering a bit of my cultural ascendancy would be interesting. Also, I wanted to live somewhere where the pace would be slower and the people less hypocritical, cold and frigid than people in England (on that matter, I could have gone anywhere, basically, as if you're colder than an English person, my friend, you're a psychopath). The experience of living in another country and learning another language is one of the most beneficial experiences any human being can have, I'd say. And besides, it's Italy. Who wouldn't want to experience Italy?
So, I chose a 400.000 inhabitants city in Italy very known for its University, its open-mindedness, its culture, its music and its cultural diversity. I didn't want to end up in a place like Rome or Milan and continue to be a human being who is constantly doped with the stress of a major centre. Nor did I wish to be in a tiny racist town with nothing to do but attending Catholic processions.
I quit my job in London out of sheer impulse (I went on holiday, and when I came back, my boss had been replaced by my super arsehole assistant manager. The plan was to quit three weeks or a month after I'd return from my holidays. I quit two hours after I had been in the shop). I didn't know anyone in the city I was heading to. I managed to rent a room with a mad evangelical Christian family, all I had in my pocket was like, 300 pounds and my credit card. And there I went.
As I arrived in Italy, I've made a few contacts with people from the church of the crazy evangelicals. I met a couple of really kind and helpful fellows. They soon became my friends and helped me go through the physically and mentally excruciating, overwhelming, soul-destructing Italian bureaucracy. Apparently I still managed to do very well, compared to people who have had much bigger issues with the lovely Italian offices that have a unignorable presence as strong as Catholicism and crazy politics in Italian daily life.
These two friends of mine are beyond words in terms of how wonderful and they were, and still are, to me. But they are Christians. I am a Christian myself, in the sense of believing in Christ, but I am on the Catholic side of Christianity. Also, I believe that freedom is a major part of having a relationship with God, and my friends (and their branch of Christianity) disagree with that (even though they say they don't, yes they do, and that is one of the motives it was so hard for me to adapt, as it's extremely difficult to feel totally comfortable when ideologies and religion are a constant repressive power in your life). But religion should get another post, maybe. I don't like to talk about it too much, as I strongly believe it's something to be very personal and I have a special space in my heart for the hatred for people who like to tell other people what to do. The case is, firstly, Italy for me has been a very spiritual experience, so it might be hard not to mention considering this is basicly an emotional report of my last few months in here. Secondly, as I have mentioned before, this is fucking Italy. Catholicism is EVERYWHERE.
A friend of mine, knowing of my family roots, gave me a book about Italy three years ago. It's from an English writer who lived in here for a while because his then girlfriend and now wife, is Italian. This is the book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Heart-Italy-Tobias-Jones/dp/057123593X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk , and I read it once I was in this insane land. It's quite precise, and I would recommend it to anyone who ever wants to come in here. My account isn't far as good, obviously, but it might be slightly inspired by his writing.
There's a song by a band called Nashville Pussy which I really like to listen to when dealing with unexpected situations in despair. It's called "Why why why" and the first chorus goes like this:
"Well she was flatter than a pancake
And nowhere near as sweet
She got real good at giving head
And fixing stuff to eat
But then I caught her and her
Uncle making out in a ditch
And I asked myself 'Did I shave my balls for this?' "
I interpret this as someone having to face a horrible situation and not being prepared for it. If he was going to join the mentioned crowd and deal with them, he'd have to have his balls shaved. I think this is quite an analogy. I use it all the time. If I feel ready and confident, "Yeah, I shaved my balls for this". If I don't, then well, I have hairy unprepared balls, and that sucks. I hate when my balls are hairy.