Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things I've learnt in Italy (so far)

How time flies! In exactly 2 weeks, I'll be off to Rome to fly back to Malaysia the next day. The past 6 weeks in Italy had taught me a lot of things, and I'm pretty sure there's more to discover within the next 2 weeks to come.

So off the top of my head, here are some of the things I've learnt in Italy (so far). I've learnt...

1. How to eat a whole pizza to myself

Yes! I did it!! Never before have I ever imagined that I, Anne Cassandra Wong Synpuhn, the girl who hated pizza and never liked cheese, could possibly eat an entire freakin pizza to myself. Never! I felt so happy the first time I took the last bite and see that its gone. 

I'd usually eat up to 3/4 of the pizza, but I've learnt the Italian's technique: just take a quarter of the pizza, fold it in half and eat it quickly. That's how you finish the pizza. I'm so pleased with myself :)

2. Some useful Italian phrases

When you're staying in Italy for a few weeks, knowing a little Italian can take you a long way. Here are some Italian phrases I use often:

Ciao! Come stai? = Hello! How are you?
Parla inglese? = Do you speak English?
Scusa, non parlo bene l'italiano. Parlo inglese. = Sorry, I don't speak Italian very well.  I speak English.
Sono di Malesia = I'm from Malaysia.
Basta = Enough (Its useful especially when your host family is trying to stuff you with food)

and my favorite phrase....

Scusi, posso usare il bagno? = Excuse me, may I use the toilet. 

There are quite a few more Italian words I know, but I speak broken Italian, so the above phrases are definitely the ones I can say perfectly. Not to mention the fact that I've picked up quite a few bad words on the way. Did you know that there are about 10 Italian words for the word 'pussy' alone?

But I'm not teaching any bad words here. Because I'm a good polite well-mannered  OK girl.

So far, I've also learnt how to count up to a hundred, the days of the week, months of the year, and the colors in Italian. Lia has also taught me how to use 'have', 'had', and what not for the grammar in Italian. So I'm slowly but surely learning Italian.

3. How to play Italian 'Bingo'

'Sinco' is my favorite game here. Rules are simple, finish  the pictures on your card when its called out first, and you win! Just like bingo. Except, you need money to play. Unlike Bingo. I've lost quite a few times, but I've won too. At the end of the day, I think I lost more than I won, but for the spirit of the game, I found it quite entertaining.

4. Italian boys pierce their ears to show their masculinity (or gayness)

During my stay in Italy, I noticed that a lot of Italian boys had pierced their ears. Its usually on their left ear. I asked Lia why they do this and she said its because they do that to show that they are a man.

Why the left ear? Because if you pierce your left ear, it shows that you are a straight man. Pierce the right ear, and that means you are gay. It explains a lot because whenever people talk about gay men, they would tug their right ear as a gesture that he's gay.

But if you pierce both ears, its not important. It doesn't show if you're gay or straight. Maybe its to show you're bi?

LOL. I pity the guy who talked himself into piercing his ears and accidentally pierced the wrong one XD

5. Most Italians don't sing their National Anthem

This is something I find quite sad. When I asked my classmates how do they sing their national anthem, they weren't sure about the lyrics and melody of the song! I was quite shocked because in every Malaysian school, we have to sing the National anthem, our state song, and the school song as we watch the flags being raised up the flagpole.

Here, there's no assembly every Monday, or any day of the week. We just go straight for classes. And even if there was a time when the entire school meet up (which is about once a month), they just get together and talk instead of getting in line and sing the national anthem. Plus, I don't even see the Italian flag on a flagpole in front of the schools. 

Not much patriotism here, but I can see that the Italians are also very proud of their country from the way they talk about all the good things they have in Italy. From their rich culture and history, down to their food and language. 

Hmm... I guess Italians are patriotic in their own way after all. I've changed my mind. Italians are patriotic after all.

6. When it seems like just enough, there's more!

OK, its lunch time. And I've been served a simple dish of pasta. By the time I've finished it, I'm neither hungry nor full. Perfect. THEN a mountain of salad plonked on my plate, along with a large steak and slices of bread. I feel stuffed just looking at it already.

That's usually what happens during meal time. There's never a meal that's 'just nice', its always 'too much'. Unlike Malaysia, Italians have a few courses of food, mainly the appetizers and the main course while we'd usually have one course in Malaysia and that's it!

Man am I stuffed o.O

7. How to write in Italian

Hell yeah that's my handwritten essay in Italian! Writing like a pro with the help of a dictionary.

8. How to build a snowman

I built a snowman!! Its snowing here in Italy. Never in my life have I imagined that I could have the opportunity of seeing snow because I'm in the south. But the weather is so cold, its snowing here too! I didn't even feel cold because I was too happy to notice it.

My childhood dream of playing in the snow has finally been fulfilled.
The happiest day of my life :)

I'll write another post about my first winter wonderland soon.


  1. HEI ciao piccola!enjoyed reading your post. I'm still laughing! You have photographed with gracefully our country, and I'm glad you enjoyed live with us! We are complicated but less than it seems. Do not know much about your country but on this occasion I will have someone special that explains everything! I follow you from far away, but I follow you!

    1. Grazie! I had a great time living with an Italian family and I've really learnt a lot about your beautiful country. Thanks for following me :)


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