Why — or How — Italy Works, and Why No One Wants to Leave

The motorist tries to run you over and you get into a yelling match on the street. The phone company is billing you for your old and new internet, although neither work. You’re getting laid off, you lose your private office and have to share a cramped space with people who don’t believe in the AC and it’s unseasonably hot. No water, coffee, phone or internet at work. You’re forced to come home to use the toilet and pause to buy fresh lettuce, grapes and peaches from the Sicilan at the open air market that’s outside your front door. He calls you ‘caro’ and sells you the items at a ridiclously low rate, offering to lop off a bit more if you don’t have change. The doorman walks by and calls you by name like you’re a long-lost friend. You met him the day before.  You salute him in return and come home to eat your produce. It’s the best lunch you’ve had and it’s just three ingredients. You’re king of the world for a little while. That’s why.

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7 Responses to Why — or How — Italy Works, and Why No One Wants to Leave

  1. David says:

    … Then, as we head into winter, the heat and humidity fade away and everything looks different again… 😉

  2. HNB says:

    It is really unreasonably hot and humid for mid-September (which is usually pleasant; even balmy).

  3. David says:

    No doubt Berlusconi will spin this to say that the north-south divide has been narrowed: thanks to Silvio the north is just as hot, sticky and depressed as the south.

    If the Lega get federalism, will each region have a say in what weather they get?

    • HNB says:

      I do wonder about that. If the Lega were to move all the awful Padanian humidity and fog to the south, then more meridionali would come north, right? So it’s really in their benefit to keep the south dry and sunny so that people won’t want to move. Then again, la Lega has not been known to be the most rational of parties.

      • David says:

        The Lega get very defensive about Padania. If you moan about the weather one day they go, “Well, what about London? It’s foggy and rainy over there ALL THE TIME so don’t come over here criticising our fog. If you don’t like it, go back!” Leghisti love their fog and humidity, they do.

        Or do they because the Lega leadership can’t seem to get enough sunshine judging by the amount of time they spend in Rome cosying up to the rich.

        We shouldn’t belittle the Lega too much. Just a bit. Not too much though because I think the Lega are VERY rational: they make stupid promises to voters that they have no ability (or genuine desire) to carry out, put the blame for society’s ills on the economically weakest then go off to the capital to further their own careers. They think they’re voters are stupid but one day these people will wake up.

        The Lega’s unique selling point is this federalism/seperatism bullshit which, of course, they have no real intention of carrying out. They daren’t do it. Not while the Italian state guarantees ministers’ pensions…

        And can anyone really imagine them being organised and self-disciplined like they imagine northern Europeans to be? Ha! They couldn’t organise the proverbial piss-up in a brewery.

        Besides, as the old saying goes: you can take the Lega supporter out of Italy but you can’t take the Italian out of the Lega supporter!

  4. Eric says:

    ah, you captured it all, well almost all. I’m also here for bread, gelato and prickley pears (can’t figure out why nobody eats them in the states)

    • Henry says:

      I was able to frustrate my wife greatly with the Indian figs (whose proper name escaped me till now) all summer. The taste and texture are worth the finger-pricking that goes on for days afterwards.

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