It is inevitable, when moving to a different country, to acquire some of the local customs and behaviours. At the very beginning you are stubborn and nationalist: “I am Italian, I am NOT doing this!” In the end you yield and adapt to the local culture, as that is the only way you can survive without getting a proper identity crisis or a nervous breakdown. I am now confessing two examples of my cultural betrayal, but I want to stress the fact that these abominations happen only when I am on the island. In Italy I still have a reputation!
- Having cappuccino in the afternoon. As I have already explained, cappuccino is a breakfast drink and drinking it in the pm is just a big “no-no” in Italia. In London, though, if you’re going to a café, chances are that you planned to stay for at least a couple of hours, armed with your Mac or second-hand book. In this scenario, one long-lasting beverage is wiser and more cost effective than 7 espressos and so let it be cappuccino!
- Having dinner before 8 pm. I cannot say exactly what makes it so wrong, but it is and therefore every time I broke this rule back home, my dinner was cooked in anxiety and seasoned with guilt. Now that I live in a country where dinnertime is so much earlier, I can finally enjoy the taste of my pasta without feeling like a criminal. But it is always pasta and pasta only, because I still need to keep an Italian façade!
As you might have noticed, both these new habits have to do with food. I’m not even going to give an explanation for this, only that I am Italian and therefore a food Nazi. In fact, you can expect more posts on this topic!