- I meet up with my friends outside the bar where we’re going to have a few drinks and one of them asks ” Shouldn’t you be wearing a heavier jacket?”
- I dunk my french fries in ketchup and a fellow McDonalder says “I don’t think you should use so much of that stuff, it’s not good for you.”
- I’m at a store looking at some candle holders and shop assistant states “You should look at those silver ones over there. Also, make sure to buy 3 because 2 is bad luck.”
Italians love, love, love voicing their opinion and giving you advice whether you want it or not. I, being an outgoing-yet-humble guy, have absolutely no problem voicing my opinion (which has a time and a place) or asking for advice (which needs to be left to the individual to decide whether or not to ask). But, Italian people (God love ’em) for some reason think that their opinion/advice is exactly what you have been searching for and longing to hear.
Among themselves the situation goes without a hitch. An Italian will respond to unsolicited advice from another Italian by responding with some of their own. Both parties seem content to have expressed their opinion or shared their advice and then they both continue happily with their day. This is not so with me.
An unsuspecting (and essentially innocent) Italian will gawk at me with an expression of hurt surprise on their face when their unsought advice is met by my gruff “Who the hell asked you?!”
I know my jacket is light, I understand that too much ketchup isn’t good for you, and I am perfectly capable of selecting candle holders all by myself thank you!
I don’t want to seem hostile or non grateful towards my host culture, so, being that today is Thanksgiving (at least back in the USA), I’d like to close with something positive: I am thankful for my life here in Italy and all the wonderful/strange/exciting/frustrating things that come along with it!
(Okay, I just had to get one last zing in there) 😛