One of the most difficult things to learn in a new country is not the language itself, but how to use the language in the right way. In Italian, we have to disagree a bit before we can agree.
The second week after arriving in Italy, as I was knee deep in my attempt to nest in my boyfriend’s bachelor pad, our toilet broke… it was a Friday morning. This is the story of my naive attempt to have it fixed.
The following story has been one of my favorites to tell and retell over the course of my time here in Italy. It was one of my first culture shock experiences, and it took place the first month I was in Italy – about 4 years ago. It exemplifies the understatement that Italian do all business by word-of-mouth and personal recommendations.
“F.I.A.T. = Fix it again, Tony,” was my uncle’s response to the story I’m about to tell. I was pretty sure that phrase was born out of some sort of prejudice against Italian-American immigrants back in the day (which would be funny since my uncle was one), so I went to check on it before…