Friday, November 25, 2011

Odds and Ends from Rome

Today I plan to just hang out in the apartment except for walking Seymour. I found out that the washer is not also a dryer. I found this out by pressing a different button - and having the clothes go through another wash cycle, and then going on line to look for the owners manual. The manual says it is just a washer! So, now I have clothes hanging around the house. I did find a short clothes line outside of the kitchen window with room for about 3 items on it. So much for my excitement about a dryer!!

Today, I thought I'd just cover some basics about what I've seen and learned in Italy.

1. It is strange seeing police and bus drivers smoking on the job, but it is very common.

2. I mentioned the receipt issue here; both in northern and southern Italy they just about chase you out the door if you don't take your receipt. There must be a big fine if you are caught not counting all of your sales.

3. In northern Italy, in each place I stayed, I had to give all of my personal info to fill out a form that they said they had to have in case an inspector comes. In southern Italy, I have not be asked to do that at all. I just walk in the door, get my keys and I'm good to go.

4. Everywhere - public and private - bathrooms have toilet bowl brushes for you to clean up your "mess" yourself. The bowls are always clean.

5. Purple or plum is the color of Napoli - and maybe more of south Italy. You see lots of people wearing it. Now it makes sense that when I said I liked the color purple in my language class in Montepulciano, the instructor said that you will never see anyone in purple there. So, there is a big rivalry between northern and southern Italy that I don't fully understand yet.

6. I still don't understand why there are fruit trees and olive trees filled with fruit and no one seems to be taking it. Is there that much excess here?

7. I never found out why people in northern Italy put those full water bottles in front of their houses. I don't see that in southern Italy.

8. Lots of lottery stuff here and many bars have 2 to 4 slot machines. We all want to win money! I haven't purchased a lottery ticket yet, but I might before I leave. I'll have to figure out how to say it!

9. I think this also happens in the big cities in the USA, but you often see people getting on the trams playing music or just begging for money. I guess they get on for free because it wouldn't be worth it to have to purchase a ticket since they don't seem to collect much - if any -money.

10. Fashion is big here. Boots are really popular with women right now - mostly calf or knee high black ones. I do love the look of men with their scarves - pretty sexy. The men also use man purses that work well with the scarves! Scarves are big with women, also. The other big trend with women is wearing those skin tight jeans or tights with tops. There definitely is a sexy look to the clothes here. If i were a lot younger and thinner, I will certainly be wearing their styles.

11. Speaking of "sexy", I couldn't sleep last night and turned on the TV and there is a LOT of sex stuff on at night. Some stations have the full frontal views and some soft porn. Hey, I was just doing my research here since my cold medicine wasn't working!

12. There is a Model channel here and they show fashion shows from
Fashion Week, which was held last week. It is interesting to see the various designers lines. Some are very flowy and ruffled this year. None have clothes much above the knee. Dresses and skirts are "in" and pants, although still around, are not shown in the fashion lines as much. See how much I am learning from Italian TV?

13. With all of the TV stations here, and some shows in English (no particular English stations), there is not one news show in English. In northern Italy, I did not see all of the American sitcoms that I see here; and the only English shows they had were news.

14. I keep forgetting that you have to go to the desk and pay for your coffee and croissant BEFORE you go to the counter. Sometimes they indulge me and let order my stuff and then send me to pay for it.

15. There are LOTS of police out here, sometimes standing around in groups of 5 or 6. I'm not sure if that is always true and I'm not sure what they are doing.

16. I was asked about the beds here; most of them are firm and pretty comfortable. As I said before, it's the pillows that I can't sleep with. Italians must have different heads and necks than I have. I do not know how they sleep on those things!

17. I really like that most cities have the large trash containers labeled for paper, plastic, food/compost, and then the non-recyclables. When they do have trash pick up, people put out the various SMALL bags on different days. So, maybe Monday and Wednesday they pick up paper and plastic and Tuesday and Thursday, they pick up the non-recyclables. I almost always divide up my trash and take it to those large bins on the street. Easy!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be out and about again with more pictures to share.

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