There are plenty of stereotypes on Italians: Italians are spoilt by their mamma, Italians are noisy, Italians are unable to queue… Some of them are embedded in popular culture to the extent that I have started believing them myself and using them as an excuse to some of my behaviours. I know it is really cheeky but, to be honest, “sorry, I am Italian” goes perfectly well with a couple of situations, for example:
- When I don’t understand. It a very banal excuse but sometimes it’s painfully true! I try not to abuse of this; otherwise I would just contribute to spread the stereotype of the Italian who cannot speak English properly. The only occasions when I put my pride aside is the early mornings, when I wouldn’t understand my mom, forget about a muttering Brit!
- When I turn into a pastanazi. As I have already explained, I have witnessed too many pastacides in the past two years and now, in order to protect my traditions, I am volunteering to help anytime a non-Italian attempts to cook pasta. My flatmates have soon learnt that and now they agree saying “ok you cook it so you can’t complain”
- When I am late. In those occasions I am utterly lying, because I know plenty of Italians who are able to show up on time. Being late is a very personal quality; therefore the correct excuse should be “sorry, I’m me!”
- When I gesticulate. As a female specimen of homus italicus I am not genetically programmed to keep my hands still while I talk. I am pretty proud of this, because we Italians can have a whole conversation using only our hands! Sadly our physical vocabulary is often reduced to one single hand movement. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and let me explain once and for all: that means only “why” and “what (the f**k)”. Use it for anything else and you turn into the stereotyped foreigner who pretends to speak Italian!