Saturday, January 10, 2004

Blog entries haven’t been frequent since I got back. That’s partly because I’ve been very tired (bloody Ryanair: my delayed takeoff was consequently diverted because of night fog; I got to bed at 3:50am and was up at 7 the next day to go skiing) and partly because, I should admit, I have less to say.

Towards the end of last year there were certainly days when I posted because I felt I should, rather than actually having anything to say. The fact is that Italy inevitably doesn’t look as different or unusual as it once did. Things I would have considered note-worthy a few months ago are now accepted.

This is the reality of travel and the price of cosmopolitanism. I get fed up with hearing people back home saying about wherever they’ve just been on holiday “Oh, I’d live to there, it’s a great place”; if so, then do it. Similarly people who imagine my life is full of vino russo, bruschette and la dolce vita. Well, ok, my life is full of these things, but there are also realities to contend with: irresponsible driving, obtuse civil servants and maverick opening hours, to pick just three.

And both sides of this coin become the norm if one stops travelling in foreign lands and starts living there. This is a good thing. Challenging one’s values, experiencing a alternative way of life and all the other reasons one gives for travelling are all more accentuated if one stays still. Making the differences feel standard is the whole point. The next few months, as I begin to get under the skin of the place, are the time to decide how long I want to stay for.

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