Bad vibes in Italy

Jul 11th, 2000, 08:41 PM
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Julie: Why try to force yourself to learn to love a place just because everyone else seems to? Life's too short. If the south of France does it for you, then let that be your mecca.
Jul 11th, 2000, 11:34 PM
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I agree with Holly. Donít follow the crowd. If Italy is not a happy place for you, avoid it. Life is too short. Better an honest dislike than a strained and false effort to like. As for me, Iíve been there four times, and each time my poor old eyes are stuffed with riches. The country taught me -when I thought it was impossible- how to re-appreciate things---a building or a piece of fruit or cheese or the sound of feet on a stone pavement. And what I remember loving best was never predictable (an evening strolling around Bari, a little church in Padua on a hot day), so again, donít worry about what you are supposed to like.
At the same time, your heading -ďBad VibesĒ- made me remember something rather painful and sad: My failure to connect with the social life there. In France or Japan, Thailand or Portugal, in many other places too, I felt a greater sense of connection with the people as I traveled. The people I met in Italy always seemed too abrupt and distant, easily fatigued and easily irritated. Even when there seemed to be an effort on our parts to be sociable, there was always a sense -Iím sure I imagined it- of overacting and insincerity, especially among the more international types who often initiated the contact with me. Unfortunately, impressions become stereotypes which in turn tend to block out new impressions. So, to contradict my advice to you, I will make a point of going back to Italy, this "place" I love, in order to find a way to overcome my stereotype. How? Iím not sure: Home stay, earning Italian, reading a favorite author (Parvese?), doing volunteer work...or just doing nothing special but with the hope that this time it will be different.

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