Sunday, April 14

Things I do since...

...I moved to Italy.

While walking to the metro one Sunday morning, in the rain, with my umbrella, this led me to reflect on how certain actions have become habit since I've lived in Italy. I would have seldom done the equivalent in the UK!

1) use an umbrella

In fact, until a few years ago, I was very anti-umbrella, but now, I do use one. In the UK umbrellas would be at my eye height and cause many problems, add to that how British rain doesn't necessarily fall in a straight line, but can float around, lingering in the air, and so a waterproof jacket was my preferred option. However, rain in Milan falls down in a line, it can be diagonal, or vertical, but a directional line none-the-less. Therefore you can block it with an umbrella with minimal dampness occuring: it's usually just my bag and feet that get wet now when using an umbrella.

2) 'hug' buildings

I use this term in reference once more to a rain defense system. Coupled with the above umbrella usage, it is very effective protection to walk as close to buildings as possible when it is raining. In the UK, the areas I lived in didn't have buikding directly on the pavement, but front gardens or low walls, both useless in protecting people from the rain. 

3) use the colon in sentences 

I must admit, I never really knew what a colon did in a sentence: turns out it adds extra information! From what I now understand it can be used like a connective/conjunction and I only know this because in written Italian, it's used more than I experienced in written English. In fact Italian paragraphs can generally be one sentence that is divided up using colons, commas and lots of words, rather than the three sentence paragraph I learnt to write for essays.

4) say "no problem" 

...or "my pleasure" or "no worries" or "you're welcome"...these are terms that have one word in Italian, the infamous prego. I say "no problem" at school after someone says thank you to me that the children in my class have picked it up too (a good thing). Yet I never used to say forms of "no problem" this much in the UK.

I'm sure there are more things I've picked up, but living them I don't notice!