If I had to rate myself in Integration with the English Culture, I’d give myself a 8 out of 10, even if this might be an excess of arrogance. I believe I deserve that in virtue of the fact that I learned to day-drink in the park, to consider crisps as part of a meal, to enjoy hot tea even in summer.
And yet, this pretty picture of multiculturalism and integration has some shameful gaps that I will confess hereunder.
I hate carpet. To be more accurate, I loathe it. In my Mediterranean mind, it is gross and perpetually dusty. Anytime I read an ad for a place that boasts “newly carpeted”, I think that that’s not a unique selling point but a good reason alone to confiscate the property, because if you actively choose to re-carpet a house, you do not deserve to own one!
I can’t carry more than two cups at a time. This country is full of wannabe jugglers, who proficiently use their skills to snatch more than one cup per paw and bring them safely to colleagues and friends. I might have not applied myself enough, I might have given up too soon, but mamma made me with two Italian hands and I can carry only one cup per hand or make do with, shame on me, a tray.
Cappuccino and croissant (the closest you can get to an Italian cornetto) is still my favourite breakfast. I don’t mean to spit where I eat, literally: eggs and bacon, salmon and avocado, hashbrown and sausages are divine combos, and I go into raptures every single time I sample any of them or all of them together. And yet, sometimes I need to go back to Italian basics and run to the coffee shop round the corner to get a takeaway cappuccino and a croissant.
In order to achieve my Master in Integration with the English Culture, I’ll happily have English breakfasts most weekends and I’ll train to grab 2 cups, at least with my right hand. I’ll never get Distinction, though, because no matter how many times natives try to rationally make me see the cultural and climatic reasons behind it, I will always consider carpet a crime against human rights!