My Issues with Italy: 5 Whys

After three years here, I’ve got fairly used to Italian life, “la vita Italiana”, even picking up several habits and norms which don’t fit in so well in England (see Signs I’ve Been in Italy too Long). Things which tourists always point out as strange (paying for coffee after drinking it, having shutters but no curtains, rarely having a kettle) now seem completely normal to me. That said, there are still the odd nuances that continue to strike me as so foreign, no matter how many times I confront them – mainly because of their illogicality.

I love you Italy, but there’s a few issues I’d like to bring forward. For instance, why…

  1. …have zebra crossings if the cars don’t have to stop. I’m honestly unsure of the law in regards to zebra crossings, but from what I’ve gathered the cars are as likely to stop there as in any other part of the road. Even more silly…

  2. …have zebra crossings that don’t lead anywhere. There are three zebra crossings on the road next to my house. Not one of them leads to the two path entrances on the other side of the road.

  3. …have traffic lights that don’t coerce with pedestrian crossings. Okay, Italy just despises pedestrians, apparently. At several major crossroads, the pedestrian light will go green when there is still traffic passing, leading to complete uncertainty as to whether to cross or not. Good luck.

  4. …have bells inside the house, next to the light switches. Firstly, why do you need “doorbells” inside the house? I have thought and thought about this, but still can’t come up with a use. Secondly, why put them next to the light switch?! Turning the light on in the morning is unpleasant enough, let alone adding an accidental second alarm to the procedure.

  5. …be so completely lax about health and safety. The UK takes health and safety too far, it’s true. In some cases, I do feel it should be a case of “survival of the fittest”. But I am shocked at how far Italy takes this. My favourite example: there’s a bridge made of wooden planks on the walk back from my bus stop. For about three months, a plank was missing. It was a twenty foot drop below. There was plenty of room for a foot to fall through from a slight misstep, especially since there were no street lights. In the UK, a whole section of the bridge would have been sectioned off, forbidding anyone to go near it. Here I just had to check my step.

In general, Italy, you treat me fairly well – but I’d really appreciate it if you stopped trying to kill me / give me a bad wake up call.

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2 Responses to My Issues with Italy: 5 Whys

  1. This is honest to god the best thing I’ve ever read in my life hahahahaha toooooo true


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