Saturday, March 5, 2011

This is going to sound a little ridiculous:

spring break in italy.
martha has run away from philadelphia yet again, back to italy. 

Thanks to some savvy traveler skill and the impossibility of purchasing one way international flights, I am back. And there is nothing like international travel to get you blogging again. Already my introspective, travel as a means of self discovery processor has turned on. In a day or two it will be joined by the cultural different machine, followed by the (hopefully) quick switch to thinking in italian again. 

So in the early stages of being in back in italy for the second time this year, I have got to thinking about just what brings me back. Why do I love Italy? It's taken enough time for me to admit this. After the first six months I would be hard pressed to say I loved Italy, far from it. But somewhere in my second stay here I warmed up to the idea. It's great to come back to a place that will feed you well no matter your dietary restrictions. Not mention some of my besties live here. 

Really though, what started me writing is something that gets to the crux of Italy, and just happens to be a trait of Philadelphia. Two of my favorite places, part of what I love about them is the embrace of the imperfections, the disfunction. Can any resident of philadelphia deny cursing out a pot hole, or lovingly mocking septa any chance they get? Of course not. It's our duty to make fun of the city of brotherly love. We know it will always love us back. Maybe it would be more appropriately named the city of little-brotherly love. Unconditional, because you have to, with a side of sibling rivalry. Well, I get similar feelings towards Italy. The italy I know is a proud dysfunctional mess. If you live there, you know this. The italian solution may not be to 'put a mural on it,' more along the lines of 'feed it a pizza,' but the idea is the same. It's a rite of passage to start making fun of Italian bureaucracy, civil services and Berlusconi. You know that when the country feels like it's falling apart there is always family to come home to. Why worry about, it's much more fun to joke about it instead.

Lastly my geographical comparison: Both places have very distinct regional differences. It is just as impossible to confuse Milan with Sicily as it is Rittenhouse to Fishtown. 


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