Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Foreign Tidbits

I was just making a quick list of interesting things I've found out recently, originally intended just for my own records, but I thought you all might enjoy them as well. I made friends at the park with a Finnish mother (2 kids) and our neighbors are Danish. Both speak excellent English, so I've been learning a lot about their countries. And, of course, there are random things we keep learning about Italy. So here they are, in list form.

-all children go to "school"
-take the public bus to school or parents bike them to school
-shop every day
-Albanians and Moroccans are the victims of much prejudice. But this is apparently different than prejudices in America, because these people "really are thieves."
-very sweet (and minimal) breakfast foods: croissant, brioche, choco-cereals, muesli, yogurt (even chocolate chip flavored! (straticella)), coffee, juice
- eat dinner late 9:30-10:00
-kids go to bed about 10:30 or 11:00
-everyone goes to the park at 4:00, after picking up kids from the school
-make payments on strollers. I.e. Peg Perego stroller with pram is 60 euro/month for 10 months!
-frequently ask me about the kids, "are they yours?" and "how old are you?"
-apparently, it is not rude to ask "how old are you?" and "how much do you weigh?" after all, everyone can see these things any way.
-I cannot find Shout, brown sugar, baking soda, jarred garlic, dried mint, ranch dressing, and the pacifiers are lame (no curved nipple).
-the pizza is delicious, but apparently, "American pizza" has corn on it. What?

-eat dinner about 6:00
-kids to bed about 8:00
-much recyling/thrift stores, hand-me-downs
-hardly any cars
-the trope 'you cannot eat pasta every day' is there as well. Too many carbs are bad for you
-English is compulsory in school. almost everyone, even grandparents, speak English.

-meat is more expensive there than in Italy. wow. 9 euro/kilo for chicken = $6/lb for chicken and ground beef. yikes.
-they eat dark bread (like pumpernickel) with various toppings for a traditional lunch
-almost no mothers stay home
-bikes everywhere. including a bike with a box in the front to house a child and another person
-buy a special bike and stroller instead of a car
-dissertation = "writing a Ph.D"
-liberal and conservative politics. but the support of the right wing party is necessary for anything to pass.
-more recently it is becoming right-wing. the police sent back 50-100 Iraqui refugees, even though it is not safe to send them back yet.
-eat dinner about 6:00
-kids to bed about 8:00
-concerned about 'sustainable living'
-minimum wage is 11-13 euro for someone without any education
-learn English from tv programs. nothing is dubbed.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating stuff! Thanks for passing it on, Amy. With both you and Allison blogging (and now Meg, too, not to mention Sharon), I'm tempted to jump back into the fray. My one fear (beyond that of being hopelessly boring) is that I'll be tempted to blog while at work, therefore jeaopardizing my already low levels of productivity...