Friday, February 19, 2010

alaina's [postponed] thursday top ten.

I'm feeling a little grumpy today, after last night went SO badly, and the weather this weekend is screwing with all of our plans, so today's top 10 is going to be:

Top 10 Things I Hate About Italy
[Warning: There may be some profanity below.]
1. MEN. MEN MEN MEN MEN MEN. Just as an anecdote, I was innocently walking down the street last night with a cup of beer in my hand, when some drunken Italian decides that it would be HILARIOUS to just knock it out of my hand for no apparent reason. Fortunately, he got his comeuppane when Sam's friend Elaine, who has lightning quick reflexes and a taste for vengeance, tossed her beer into his laughing face, drenching him. Things like this happen with surprising frequency. Men think it's hilarious to touch you, harass you, and generally annoy you, and then they want to take you home with them. Then there are the street vendors, whose sad attempts at sexual harassment are nearly as pathetic as annoying. I could probably write an entire entry about how fed up I am with the male gender here, but I'll spare you. I don't know what kind of American idiots have conditioned them to think that this is okay, but the next Italian that messes with me is likely to get a boot up his ass.
2. Weather. It was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS outside yesterday, when I had class from 9 AM until 2:30 PM. Today, when I have nothing but plans to explore the city, it is pouring rain. Tomrorow, when we wanted to take the train to San Gimignano, it will be pouring rain. Sunday, when we were planning to stay inside and study all day, it will be lovely, sunny, and warm. This is Italy.
3. Sidewalks. I cannot tell you how many times I have had my life recklessly endangered by some lazy Italian who does not want to share the sidewalk, forcing me off of it into the road to be hit by some wayward Vespa being driven as if it had been stolen. They are narrow, slanted, paved with uneven and wobbly cobblestones, and generally covered with dog poop. This does not make for an enjoyable walking experience.
4. Doing laundry. The lack of dryers here is way more of a pain than I could have ever imagined. It feels like every time one load of laundry has dried on the rack, it's time to do another one. It is an endless cycle that I'm trying my hardest to appreciate for its cultural value, but failing miserably.
5. Tiny kitchen. Unless you and three of your closest buddies have ever been hungry all at the same time and trying to prepare a meal in a room the size of a broom closet, you cannot understand.
6. This is probably a nitpicky complaint, but the size of the milk containers. I am CONSTANTLY buying milk because they refuse to sell it in gallon sizes (yes, I am aware that they do not use our system of measurement, but it is my personal opinion that someone should add something larger than a liter to the metric system, if only so that they can sell milk in that size).
7. Showers. Honestly, I took showers for granted in the US. I have never been a huge fan of sitting under a stream of water for an endless period of time (unlike some people I know) but here, I have yet to take a shower that lasts longer than 5 minutes. It is incredibly difficult to shave AND wash your hair in that span of time. Kudos to the Italians; I don't know how they groom themselves in these medeival conditions.
8. The euro. Or honestly, the dollar. Why did Italy have to change from the lira system? If they hadn't, I'd pratically be swimming in all of the leather jackets and boots that I could afford [hyperbole].
9. Train strikes. Apparently the public transportation system workers are striking at odd hours this week, for God only knows what purpose. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that specifying the hours of your strike is an ineffective way to fight the man. But it does make my life a little bit more difficult, since I'm unfamiliar with the train schedule.
10. The weird store hours. It's mostly irritating on Sundays, when nearly everything is closed. The afternoon "siesta" time can be bothersome as well, if you only have a small window in whih to complete your errand....and the store is closed.
Well, now that I've shared that joy with you, I'm off to wait until the rain stops so that I can go to the Academia Galleria to see the David. If it ever stops pouring.


  1. don't worry girl, it'll get better. welcome to the end of the honeymoon phase :)

  2. lol its amazing how showers are taken for granted in the US

  3. You know what they say "what doesn't kill you only makes stronger"....

  4. Hi Alaina,

    Is it possible that Italians shower less often? Are all the showers that bad? I found your comments on dealing with harassment to be very informative. I had never heard about the harassment that female tourists face in Italy. Do Italian women deal with it too?

    I'd love to feature one of your posts on Pink Pangea (, a travel site specifically geared towards women travelers. Submit a photo of yourself in Italy and write a post about your experiences. You might also want to provide some tips for other women travelers to Italy--such as those on dealing with harassment from Italian men. We will be sure to link back to your site.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,