Monday, September 24, 2007

Am I molto stupida?

First let me start off by saying FH man walked up to me on set and gave me a kiss (cheek) and hug this morning. I was a little taken aback. There were other crew members around. LOL.

I have been reading more of the Expats in Italy website. This site and the various blogs are invaluable, it's important to see the good, the bad and the ugly. That said, I wonder if I'm being ridiculously naive.

Lately the negativity on Italy has been pretty high (not on all the blogs), as in it's a third world country with first world prices, the dollar is at an all time low, the red tape is insane, it's impossible to get a job etc.

Why do I still want to move when many American expats say Italy is awful/going to hell in a handbasket? I feel that way about the U.S. so I might as well be in a country where I like the food? No seriously, maybe I should have my head examined. I know what my heart feels but that doesn't put food on the table or would pay my rent.

I don't have kids and I'm not moving to be with an Italian boyfriend or a husband who was transfered. My entire family (with the exception of my siblings) is foreign so I am used to dealing with a culture that is very different from the U.S.

Being in Toronto has been great as far as giving me some time to really think about what I'm going to do. Last week I was saying to a friend book or no book I have to leave Los Angeles, the sooner the better. Then over the weekend I'm reading Expats in Italy and got scared. What if I move and run out of money? I can't move back and get another job in Hollywood. Here it's out of sight out of mind. What if I never become fluent? What if I can't afford to write full time and can't find a job?

I have a couple of Italian friends in Rome who say I'm over thinking things, just move and they will help me find a job (they are working actors and one is friends with an Italian actor who is married to an American who used to work for Miramax. Now she works for one of the top production companies in Italy). My life in L.A. is expensive, I don't make a lot of money (esp. for my title and experience), the business is all about nepotism and is racist, sexist and ageist, however here I speak the language and don't have to worry about a horrible exchange rate.

On the other hand my day-to-day life in Los Angeles is killing my spirit. I was speaking to a friend who said at my age what am I waiting for? I cannot afford mentally to wait until I'm 50 to start living my life. I have done the hard core working myself to death thing since the day I graduated from college and for what? My last job I worked myself to the point where a doctor told me the stress was the cause of my massive migranes and I should think about another profession. Then the company shuts down and after three years of having no life I received two weeks severance. Thanks boss! There is no job sercurity in what I do so believe me I am not moving to Italy for career reasons.

It was drilled into my head that as a black American you have to be twice as good to move up in a meritocracy. Then I moved out here. Whatever. Maybe that is the case at IBM or Pac Bell but that is not my experience. There are people in my business who can't read (not making this up...people have to read scripts to them) and they make millions a year. So much for having a good work ethic. I should have slept with a President of Production of a studio or something. I kid!

I decided to finally sit down and start writing again. It's not practical. All the hours I spent working on my novel I will never get back. What if it sucks, what if it doesn't sell? Do I discount the experience? I decided no. I'm tired of living this life where the only thing that matters is how much money you make and moving up some stupid ladder. When I'm on my death bed I'm not going to be sitting there saying damn, I should have read more bad scripts. I feel the person I've become is completely at odds with what was important to me.

I was on set today talking with one the actors and he told me he was a musician and used to be in band. I realized three of our leads are not only very talented actors but also musicians and writers. They are artists not celebs. I started to think about what I love to do and why I moved out here. While I like nice things (shoes, bags etc), it's the arts and being around creative people that I love. Books, music, art, film, magazines, dance, these are the things I have loved all my life. The idea that I could live in a country where the arts are valued is more important to me than not having a dryer (haha, I say that now).

Last week I was thinking if Rome (which still has cheaper housing than L.A. and I wouldn't need a car) was out my reach financially, maybe I would look at a smaller city and try to find some kind of job to supplement the movie production bonus while I write. I have no savings to speak of so if I have to be broke, I'd rather be in a place where I don't feel like shit everyday because I not clearing a million plus a year. I know people who live in a houses worth over three million dollars and claim they are broke and their salary as an agent is too low. I cannot relate.

Sorry for the rambling post but there is a battle royale going on between my pratical side and the creative side.


cupcake said...

No, non é stupida.

Go. Forget what you're hearing from other people. That's their experience and those are their stories. You make YOUR story.

Going and failing still beats wishing you had every time.

GO. Follow your dreams. GO.

Texas Espresso said...

You are not stupid. My husband and I are going through the same type of thing. He is Italian, me American and we are living apart at the moment trying to figure out which life we want to have. One in Italy or one in America. Sure, we'll make more money in America but there is no job security here at all. But is it worth it to deal with the fast paced stress traffic to make money you can't find time to enjoy? On the other hand - you gotta have money to live on and you dont make much in Italy. It is also hard to find a non-contract job there (and Lord knows I wont be working since I need to learn the language better).

What do you do? Just so you know - others out here are struggling with the same issues. So far, I am leaning towards low wages and living in Italy. I feel your pain!

Anonymous said...

NYC, why not move to Toronto, hook up with FH, or not..., write books, work in a more sane movie industry there, and visit Italy as many times a year as you can afford to? It's only an eight-hour drive to New York City (okay six and a half if you work it smart), and who knows... you can learn French, too.

J.Doe said...

I would still go to Italy. Like some commenters said, those negative experiences are not your negative experience, nor are they so negative enough to make those expats turn around and leave. Everyone has bad days where they live. Just keep your eyes open and remember that no place is perfect.

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

You are definitely not stupid. Shelley and I were chatting about our respective moves last night and it takes a bit of insanity to do it. Something inside of you is pushing you in that direction...go with it!!!

You are a talented, capable person. You will land on your feet. Take some risks and see what happens. Your job may not be what you think it will might be better! You may sacrifice something (salary) for something else (less consumerism, no debt, etc.)....

I am going to keep pushing you..!!! I think it's time for another visit...this time we'll meet up, though!

Michellanea said...

You are not stupida. You have a dream and want to follow it, and that's admirable. My only suggestion would be to do it as intelligently as possible and perhaps not put all of your eggs in the Italy basket (such as trying to keep your apartment - if you want to go back to L.A., that is - or some safety net for yourself back wherever it is you would return to).

The expats I've seen who are happiest here are the ones who truly had a dream of coming here (I did not - I was perfectly happy in New York!) and were willing to sacrifice ANYTHING to get it. My observations on my blog are based on seven years of a love-hate relationship with the old boot. I think I've just had all I can take, and it's probably time for me (sooner or later - after the baby is born, anyway) to move on to something else. Anyway, just saying that I'm coming from a different place so don't let my opinions sway you.

Anonymous said...

Believe me l know this battle. In Australia l can make great $$, run my own business etc. Although, Italy is the place that brings my spirit back to life. And, the years l have been there before, l have had massive pay cuts and havent climbed any career ladders.
Although, l will say that the people and experiences l have had have added a richness to my life that money could not really buy.
l say not not overthink it because that will scare you. Just make sure you gather up some savings as a little safety net. Once your there you just never know what will come your way. You will pick up the language. Have courage and faith to follow your dreams not get caught up in the rat race. When you are truly happy you will find that you are the reciepent of even more that will make you happy.

sognatrice said...

Come. Now.

You're only asking for trouble when your heart and soul tell you to do something and you say, "But what if...."

Like others have said, the negatives you're reading about are personal to given situations; there are just as many of us who are perfectly happy here (red tape, weak dollar, and all) and wouldn't move back to America for a 6 or 7 figure job or anything else popularly considered to be a good thing. You, and only you, know what you need inside.

I didn't move here for love, but I was never someone who would've done anything to live in Italy either--I came to try things out for a year because my heart told me it was time, and I haven't regretted it for a moment. Maybe I'm lucky--aw, hell, I *know* I'm lucky, but I also know I'm not so special that it can only happen to me.

The universe provides so long as you follow its plan, but the key is that it's the plan for YOU that matters, and not what everyone else thinks is smart/stupid/practical/unpractical.

In bocca al lupo, cara. I can't wait to meet you in person :)

Anonymous said...

tracey k/ohio: wow! this was a really deep post, ragazza! I agree with all other posters - all of them had positives: you are definately not stupid. Italy sounds like it has always been dream of yours, so try it out. Surely you've heard of 'stepping out on your faith & letting God catch you', right? However, 'anonymous' reply sounded the best to me: move to Toronto for all the creativeness, etc., that you're seeing while working there now & visit Italy as often as you can. That way you can almost have the best of both worlds while deciding if you want to make Italy your final destination. Your other bloggers who live there sound like they're having a great time, even though I'm sure it's not all roses all the time.

By the way: Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" (I ADORE that man! - he's so "bad") - show last nite was a segment on Tuscany. By the time the show ended, I wanted to live there.....

Finally, as having lived in LA a while back, all I'll say is that I found it to be as very shallow place. Get to a place that will stimulate & appreciate you! Oh - and while you're doing all that - keep us posted! (LOL!)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

cupcake - I hear you but man, as you get older it's harder to just pack up and leave. However, you are right trying and failing is better than saying what if?

texas espresso - I'm an executive at a film production company. It's is good to know I'm not the only trying to figure this all out. Good luck as you plan your future.

anon - I have a French passport so I could live and work legally in an EU country. This does not help me with Cananda. :) Also I came up through development (working on scripts) not physical production, so working in production in Canada is not an option.

j. doe - thanks for the encouragement. I will try to be smart about moving and not get caught up in thinking it's going to be very Under a Tuscan Sun. The main reason being I do not have Francis Mayes' bank account. :)

sara - yes, it might take a bit of insanity! What I didn't mention in yesterday's rant was many people stateside truly think I'm nuts. How can I leave the center of the world (hollywood) just when I'm started to get movies made? First this is just one film, who the knows what the heck will happen next year esp. if there is a strike? And second something very strong is calling me. I must listen. :) Thanks for all your support.

michelle - grazie. You and I have "talked" about how you ended up in Italy. I do love reading your blog because it's balanced, well written and at times hilarious. I understand your sitatuation. If I met the love of my life and he said he had to move to Los Angeles, we would have to date long distance, seriously. I have really tried to make it a go here. I do know one mistake I made early on was comparing L.A. to NYC. It's not and could never be. Once I eased up on that a little bit things got better. I guess I'm at the age where I don't want to be somewhere I'm lukewarm or really dislike just because of work. Turning 40 really lit a fire under my butt.

confessions- That is a good point. Maybe great things will happen in Italy that I could not have predicted. I am big on planning. I just need to put those skills to good use.

sognatrice - grazie. You are so right, it's those "what if" questions that result in sleepless nights. Until two years ago I never even thought about living in Italy. Then that trip on 2005 happened and things have never been the same. I don't feel that way about London, Paris or Amsterdam (places I would enjoy living but don't feel like I MUST live there) so clearly something about the place spoke to me in a way I can't quite articulate.

Michellanea said...

I did not mean to suggest that your blog entry was prompted by mine specifically, but I just wanted to say that I happen to be going through a difficult Italy phase personally (probably exacerbated by pregnancy hormones and being far away from friends and family at a time when I'd really like to be near them). If you feel you just NEED to do something, there's a reason and you should pursue that. Just be smart. :) Don't sell the ranch and pack everything up if you can help it. Maybe six months will get it out of your system. Or maybe you'll need a lifetime. That's the exciting part of the adventure.


P.S. I'm liking these installments with Toronto man. Maybe you two could move into a brownstone in the city's Little Italy and just vacation in Rome!

Anonymous said...

forget working in the film industry in italy, if you're black you're invisible here! they might ask you to clean their house or look after their kids unless you are famous already, then they will wipe your ass for you!!

However if you don't care about the above just go for it and try it out, after all it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.

Good luck either way.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

tracey K - I am also a big Anthony fan. I will have to catch the repeats when I get back. Re: Toronto, it's not a possibility but I had a chance to work (not vacation) outside of Los Angeles for a big chuck of time.

Michelle -again, thanks for the good advice. I am going to think hard about a Plan B. I can't keep my L.A. apartment if I move. My landlord is all over the no subletting clause in our lease. She is also a horrible person and I can't wait to give my 30 days notice.

re: toronto man, lol. Let's see if we actually go out before I leave. He is looking esp. handsome today on set. We are shooting in some random office building in the middle of nowhere. I'm glad he is here.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

anon - are you talking about acting? Because that is not what I do. So far the people I have met in the Italian film busines (both on the talent side, and on the studio side) have been very helpful. I'm not famous but I do have solid work experience with filmmakers who are more respected aboard than they are here. Since I don't live in Italy I can only go by what my expat and Italian friends in the film business there tell me and how they treat me.

I'm invisible in Los Angeles and I was born and raised in this country. I will always have to deal with racism.

gibber said...

Man, that's one hell of a post, sis. I agree with most of what other people wrote here. It will be tough, especially as the naysayers in LA turn up the volume. BUT, remember this. You have a family who loves you and supports you, and while you would never want to call on them for help, you know, if god forbid, the worst happened, they'd be there in a minute.

So don't let that hold you back. Maybe you move to Toronto to write. Maybe you move back to NYC. Maybe you go to Italy. Whatever you do, you need to get the hell out of LA. It is clear to me that said city is toxic to you, and life is too short to put up with that bull-ish.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but have you tried to find out how hard it would be to get a work permit for Canada? If your skill set is specific enough, it may be that there are positions available for filling from outside of Canada. Check it out before you turn your back on Hogtown.

Besides, if FH comes to his senses in the next few days and plays his cards right, you will be marrying his sexy ass and moving to Toronto to live in love-drunk FH bliss. I think that will qualify you for Canadian residence. ~:-)

Anonymous said...

I would give you the same advice which I gave to my little sister when she was deciding whether or not to pursue her opera singing dream (coming along rather nicely now actually). Yeah, moving to Italy is completely impractical and the place can be a real pain in the culo a lot of the time. However, unlike me (and Michelle) you have a real passion for Italy. As michelle said - that passion means a lot and will probably keep you sane through a lot of hard times.

You only live once - and if you have this dream you should act on it. Of course, it's possible that you won't like the reality of Italy but then you can always move back to the US or to another part of Europe. The world is your oyster with 2 passports.

It also sounds like you have some great contacts in the film industry here and contacts are everthing so maybe you'll be able to get some kind of job here in your field who knows?

Anyway, it sounds like you're a lot better prepared than I was. I hadn't read anything on the internet or thought about it at all. I was in love so I just moved. I had no idea that Italy is like it is - so it was all a huge shock to me. You, on the other hand, have heard about all the negatives but still want to do it.


Anonymous said...

I think after x number of years, we all start to get sick of the place we live in... my sister lives in NYC and after 15 years she is itching to move to LA (you must be gasping!), I live in rome and after 12 years I'm aching to get out... but before I decide to make a move, I will fully weigh the pros and cons of my present and future city (including job and money options). like you, I don't care to make a 6 figure salary, I just want to live well and comfortably, but sadly as I'm sure you know, it's extremely HARD to do so in italy.
you said:
"I don't make a lot of money (esp. for my title and experience), the business is all about nepotism and is racist, sexist and ageist...."
Funny, that is a perfect description of the average workplace in Rome, 100%. I've been offered ridiculously low salaries for VERY high, responsibility-filled jobs. obviously I turned them down but it doesn't matter because there are 1,000 other desperate foreigners who'd snatch up those shitty-paying, exploitative jobs in a micro-second.
I find it interesting that you also spoke of no job security and no job ethics in LA. Again, a PERFECT description of the work environment in rome. I've worked in several different sectors and the one thing that stood out was the lack of work ethics, people just don't care anymore because they're paid miserably so they don't even bother making an effort.

"The idea that I could live in a country where the arts are valued is more important to me than not having a dryer..."
Uhh, maybe it used to be that way, but in the past 8-10 years italy has become increasingly materialistic and shallow. the average italian knows zilch about their own city's history and art, the average italian doesn't seem to care less about safeguarding and protecting their artistic treasures. the government itself doesn't seem to care about it- that's why foreign organizations have had to come in to manage some of our greatest monuments like the Colosseum and the Tower of Pisa.

In regards to moving to a "smaller city and try to find some kind of job to supplement the movie production bonus while I write..."
I've never lived in a small city in Italy but i find it hard to believe you'd find "work" outside of a city- unless of course you don't mind baby-sitting, teaching english, or working as a waitress (which is more or less what you'd find in a big city too, only difference is it's more likely to find this kind of work in a city as opposed to a town).

Mind you, I'm not trying to discourage you in any way, shape, or form. If you are unhappy in LA, you do NEED to move somewhere. There's no point in living in a place that brings you down. You may end up feeling that way in Italy after x years, but at least you would have followed your heart and made a change. I agree with Michellanea- I wouldn't make a drastic move, try to keep your work contacts and whatnot because the italian job market SUCKS. It's not just my opinion, it is a FACT. Italy is the butt of the EU, its economy has been on the downfall for quite some time.
So maybe you can do 6 months in Italy just to get a feel for it, then decide to make a move (or not). I'm actually planning on using the same strategy for my eventual USA move because we all tend to think the grass is greener on the other side, but that's not always the case. But don't give up on your dream, just make it a trial dream period instead of a "cut off all ties" dream, it's safer and more reasonable.
GOOD luck!

Anonymous said...

In response to Kataroma:
That passion means a lot and will probably keep you sane through a lot of hard times.

Not so sure about that, I came to Italy with a passion but that passion has died out after 9 years here. Don't get me wrong, the first years were wonderful, but as time went on I started to see past all the beauty & the picturesque scenes and was smacked in the face by the reality of daily life in a harsh, backwards, unbearable city.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - thanks sis. xo

anon @ 7:12 - I asked around. If I had a project I was producing I could get a work visa for that project. re: FH that is funny.

kataroma - grazie millie for the advice. Wow an opera singer... now that is passion.

anon @ 8:44 - Unfortunately the 6 months trial period is not an option.

Given the similarities between the Hollywood film culture and the culture you talk about, I guess I'm well prepared. LOL. In all seriousness, again I can only go by my friends experiences and they are incredibily hard working and most are paid well (by Italian standards, by American film/TV salaries it's low but other than hedge fund managers who else make those kinds of salaries?).

I wish your sister the best of luck. Some people love and thrive in L.A. She might get here and think it's the best decision she ever made. Tell her to bring her significant other. L.A. dating makes NYC dating seem like freaking paradise. :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

anon @10:18 - What makes Rome "backwards". That things there are not done the way they are in your home country? I'm not being snarky...just curious.

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

For what it's worth, I'll add my due centesimi, but really all I can do is second what the other expats have to say: follow your heart. That's how a lot of us ended up here.

Those of us who are expressing negativity once in a while are coming at it from a different perspective than we would have when we were contemplating a move or just arrived. It has to do with a wider range of experience of living here for years which you'll have if you stay here for years as well, it's just the natural progression of things, but shouldn't be used as a measuring stick for your decision to come or not to come here. Everyone makes their own experience and the important thing is how you approach it...everyone finds a different way of adapting to life here and some people find it's a natural fit while others don't.

Italy will welcome you with open arms! You are taking a calculated risk and know what you're doing. Trust and faith come into play so much when making a big decision like this. But, worst case scenario, you go back to the States, and have a life-changing experience under your belt. You can't lose, either way!

Anonymous said...

What makes Italy backwards you ask? (FYI- I've lived in other places and countries so "backwards" is not synonymous with "different" for me.)
1) Public transportation that is 100% inefficient. Waiting 45-60 minutes for a bus in the center of a CITY on a regular basis is f**cked up. Yet prices for public trans are not cheap.
2) Public services are chaotic, unorganized, and inefficient. Again we pay BIG tax money but get little to nothing in return.
3) Customer service does not exist. In Italy it seems like the unwritten rule is "The customer is always WRONG". Yet the customer still pays a pretty price for almost everything.
4) Bureaucracy aplenty.
5) A job market that offers NO possibility for growth or advancement based on merit. The fact that one works hard and is good at their job is not even considered in salaries and promotions.
6) The country has been steadily going downhill for the past 10-15 years in all realms. That in itself is an indication of a system that is NOT working.
7) The cost of living has doubled, almost tripled but salaries have remained the same for quite some time. There are plenty of statistics about Italy's stagnant salary/pay situation, it's the worst in Europe.
8) LAck of transparency. Banks steal so much money from us. We're the only country in Europe that has such high fees and commissions on bank accounts- and interest barely exists! If you leave your money in a bank account for 10 years, you'll find half of it has been taken for "bank expenses" but it's near impossible to really understand WHAT we're paying for. We were the only country in Europe (probably in the world) where every time you recharged your cell phone you had to pay a fee, no matter how much or little you put on your phone. This is called robbery and it went on for MANY years (fattening up the pockets of those who are already filthy rich), it was just recently outlawed... but some of the cell phone companies have now upped their rates in order to keep filling their pockets.
9) The judicial system is a JOKE. People commit crimes but don't do the time. Too many politicians and big-wigs (including Mr. Berlusconi himself) manage to finagle their way out of anything and the system ALLOWS them to. Michael Vick was suspended from playing in the NFL forever because of the dog fighting business, whereas Italian soccer players and other athletes here break the law and don't even get a slap on the wrists. Martha Stewart went to jail for something that happens in Italy constantly and it goes unpunished even though it is illegal. Let's see what happens with Valentino Rossi and his horrific tax evasion- I'm betting he'll be let off pretty easily.
10) Watch some Italian shows like "Report" or "Ballaro", they'll give you 1,001 reasons why Italy is backwards. They are eye-opening yet depressing, but they are giving a very realistic picture of the state of things now.
Let's hope things get better!

anon@ 10:18

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

shelley - grazie mille You bring up another good point. You have been in Italy for a while and there is no way I can guess how my life might be there. What I can do is do my homework and go with eyes wide open.

anon -Thanks for replying, that is very depressing. Not Katrina or Enron depressing but sounds like the extreme version of it's not what you know but you know.

Kataroma said...

nyc/caribbean ragazza - actually Enron and Katrina type events (but worse as there are no political or legal repercussions here) are what us expats and Italians are talking about when we complain about Italy.

If you want to know more - I really suggest that you read Beppe Grillo's blog (do you read Italian?), La Casta and (in English) the Sack of Rome by Stille.

Some examples - Parmalat, the football frauds of last year, the clean hands campaign of 10 years ago, Berlusconi's entire career, the recent university admissions test scandals etc etc - the list goes on. As far as Katrina - there haven't been any recent natural disasters here but government handling of the earthquake which hit Calabria in 1997 was shameful. Apparently the Italian government sent oodles of money yet much of it went to line the pockets of corrupt officials while ordinary people suffered.

Sorry to be negative again - but you need to understand and accept the bad side of Italy as well as the good in order to survive here. A rosy picture won't survive once you learn enough Italian to read the newspaper. All the successful expats I know here have come somehow accept the negatives of living here. This is not the place to come to escape Enrons and Katrinas.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

kataroma - thanks, I do like to be imformed. I can read some Italian. I read about the Clean Hands scandal in class, Parmalat and of course all about the former Prime Minister, Mr. B. I will check out the reading material you suggested. I have read "The Dark Heart of Italy". I think the writer of that book was a British expat.

zeva said...

Not Katrina or Enron depressing---

Well, actually.... we may didn't have a hurricane but as Kataroma points out, the earthquakes in Calabria AND Campania (1980s) were horrific examples of how the state and government failed the people and left them to die amidst the rubble.

And in regards to Enron, all I can say is at least in the USA these people were brought to trial, the scandal was exposed and something was done about it. In Italy this stuff rarely comes to the surface, and if it does (usually thanks to amazing people like Beppe Grillo or shows like Report as anon mentioned) the people involved usually do NOT pay for their crimes. That's the difference and that is what makes living in Italy so frustrating!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

zeva - thanks for your imput.

Jen said...

You know, there are a lot of ways to make a buck writing. Many, many. And even though I don't know you at all, just in what you say on your blog and the spirit you show here, you've always been a go getter. You'll do it. You'll do it BECAUSE you have that pragmatic streak. And maybe you can't make it with the fiction right now, but make it with writing industrial scripts, free lance articles, travel pieces, teach English, etc. Go, explore. Have fun ;-)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

jen - I am going to explore all options. Thanks for the positive energy.

Texas Espresso said...

WoW, those are a lot of opinions. After reading them all I came to a couple of conclusions:

1) If you don't do it now, when will you do it? If the worst happened and you hated it, would that really be so bad? I know at 40 you've worked hard and don't want to rebuild your career but hell, you've done it once - you can do it again if needed.

2) There are alot of frustrations and negatives in Italy (my husband is currently experiencing them) - however, where can you live that doesnt have its own negatives and frustrations? Believe me - as much as I love America, there are a lot of negatives here.

In conclusion - life is what you make it. You take the good and the bad and hope the good outweighs the bad, leaving you feeling happy and content =)

ciao ciao

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Nyc, you ask for opinions, you'll get them all! I won't sit here and rebut everything being said but I think there are definitely some unhappy people here - Italy is going to be different for everyone.

Don't think about Parmalat....the public transportation or politicians....It's not necessary. No one can predict how your experience will be and what things you will find charming/annoying/disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Sara - that's a very insightful comment actually. Yes, Italy IS different for everyone.

I know myself - I'm the kind of person who gets upset about social injustice, likes to read about politics, I"m a feminist etc. I find it very difficult not to get outraged by things I see around me here in Rome.

However, my OH has been living in Italy for 17 years now and while he's not always happy (and, in fact, before he met me he was making plans to move back to his home country) he tolerates Italy and has managed to stay a long time. And why is this? He's just a very laid back, take it as it comes person. He ended up in Italy via complete fluke but now he's built a life for himself which is OK so he's happy.


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

texas espresso, sara and katatoma - grazie... yes I did ask for people's opinions and I enjoyed the vigorous debate.

I worked in national politics before I went to work in entertainment and was a foreign affairs major. I believe in equal pay for equal work and many things like what is going on the the Jena 6 upsets me. I have my bitter, pessimistic moments (I used to have them more often) but at the end of the day I believe how you approach life will determine your happiness of lack there of.

There is corruption and horrible things happening everywhere in the world and at the same time some incredible things in some of the most horrific (like Darfur) situations. I volunteer with with non-profits in Los Angeles because I feel in some small way I'm part of the solution for some of society's problems instead of just ignoring the massive homeless, gang, racial, and education issues we have here in Los Angeles.

As I get older the West Indian way of looking life, working to live, not living to work is getting stronger. That is complete against the American way..therefore I have to leave. :)

Liz said...

Absolutely, 100% in agreement with you! Everything you say about LA is sooo true. I've seen some things over the past week that make me want to get out of dodge. I feel like moving to Montana...I don't care how broke I might be because at least I wouldn't be around such insanity.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Liz - I read your latest post. Sorry you had to see that. I'm you called the police and did something.

One of my friends has a sister who lives in Montana and she loves it. They grew up in Baldwin Hills, so I'm not sure how girlfriend ended up in Big Sky Country.