I Love Italy Days
It’s hard to believe, but we have lived in Naples for almost four months. In that time, we have traveled as much as possible, gotten lost countless times despite our best efforts and eaten enough mozzarella di bufala to spoil us for life.
In short, I like living here. A lot. When I tell other Americans that, some look at me the way you might look at a sweet but naïve five year old who can’t wait to go back for her second day of school.
“Oh, honey, just wait,” they say. “You’ll see in about a year.” Then they usually launch into all the reasons this place will drive you crazy and why they can’t wait to move back to a civilized place like Norfolk.
I get it. This place can drive you crazy if you let it; I can see that already. The trash problem is completely out of control and probably always will be. The streets are dirty, the government is corrupt, it takes forever to get anything done and you have to lock your house up like a fortress to attempt to keep your stuff from getting stolen.
These are all valid complaints. They are also complaints I have heard about New Orleans over the last 10 years. It took time for me to get used to that crazy city and its quirks, but I grew to love it fiercely, even defensively, and I have a feeling Naples will be a similar kind of relationship. It’s that old rule: I can complain about my crazy family, but if anyone else does, them’s fightin’ words.
I have had days (and will probably have many more) where I am frustrated and not enamored with bella Napoli — after the fifth insane driver cuts me off at 100 miles an hour (or whatever that is in kilometers, I still don’t know) or the Telecom Italia technician fails to come by to fix our wireless Internet for the second week in a row. I call these my “I don’t love Italy days.”
But then the next day, I will eat the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life. Or I will have a life-changing experience with a cappuccino. Or the little old lady at the butcher shop will call me “una bella ragazza” and compliment me on my toddler Italian. Or we will take a day trip down the Amalfi Coast and visit impossibly beautiful towns. These are my “I love Italy days,” and they are definitely winning.