Italy: Closed until further notice

Something that a lot of non-Italians are not aware of is that fact that the vast majority of Italy shuts down for some or all of the month of August. I wish somebody had informed me of this before I arrived to my new city, full of excitement, only to discover that most businesses were…

White-shaming

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll know that some of the most talked about topics on social media of late are Pokemon Go and fat-shaming. You could be forgiven for having the fear of going out for a walk in case somebody might plough over you because they’re…

Surviving the south of Italy

Surviving the south of Italy? What’s that you say? Isn’t that a place renowned for sun, sea, sand and scrumptious food? Indeed it is! I set off on a trip from my adopted home down the road from Milan, all the way to the tip of Italy’s boot, around Sicily and back up again. There,…

A wedding in the Italian countryside

Yesterday I attended my first Italian wedding. Having only ever been to weddings in Ireland, I was very curious to see how it compared. Firstly, I was delighted not to have the fuss of putting on fake tan. Since I’ve moved here, I’ve ditched my Oompa Loompa ways and accepted that being white is exotic…

Language-Learning Milestones

Setting out along the path of language-learning, there were certain milestones I wanted to reach – being able to communicate in shops and restaurants, to express myself clearly in a proper conversation, to improve pronunciation and show off by adding in colloquialisms. My Italian boyfriend learned that the answer to “How’s it goin’?” is “Grand, boy!”in…

Not that kind of immigrant

Brexit has become a hot topic recently and it has sparked a lot of conversations with fellow expats about immigration. My British colleagues are wondering what this will mean for their futures. Some are debating whether they should marry their significant other sooner than intended. Others worry that they might need to reluctantly move back…

Can’t beat the craic!

Well I definitely shot myself in the foot with that last post! As my fingers allowed the sun-soaked positivity to gush forth through my keyboard, the little primary school me called out, “Don’t jinx it!” And jinx it I did! In the past 23 days since then, I believe there have been 3 days during which it…

Is this the real life?

Oh sunshine, you have such a wonderful way of changing perspectives! You’re better than any Instagram filter! Sunday was a good day. It was the type of day where my newfound expat friends and I, reflected on living a dream, on how great it is to actually live on holidays. Ok, most people don’t have to…

Customer Service, or Lack Thereof

Oh Italy, a country where the phrase “The customer is always right” most definitely does not exist! So many businesses here have a complete disregard for customers. It’s normal to stand in front of two adult shop assistants as they natter away about their personal lives. Being a polite expat, you wait for a few…

On Wishing For Heartbreak

At the tender age of 15, my then best friend and I, smothered in eyeliner and donning dark baggy clothes, decided to start a band. The fact that she was the only musical one of the pair of us didn’t seem to matter. In fact we clearly didn’t care at all as she took to the…

It’s My Birthday, Let Me Buy You A Drink!

Something that completely baffles me about Italy is the fact that on people’s birthdays, they offer to buy you things. I had a very awkward conversation with an acquaintance when trying to buy him a birthday drink. He kept insisting that he should buy one for me. I wondered if the language barrier was causing…

I Know How to Pronounce “Steak!”

Italians use a lot of English words in their daily lives. One might go for a yogurt and ask if they have wifi so they can surf the internet. In a hotel they might ask for the manager if their pulled pork burger is not to their satisfaction. A stalker may follow you if they…