Dutchcany: Would you like a bag?
'Sure, I already speak the language, I know the town, I know some people, it's not going to be that big of a deal.' This was my story about how it would be to move from Amsterdam to my wife's hometown in Tuscany, Italy called San Giovanni Valdarno (personally elevating the number of inhabitants from 17,159 to 17,161). Two weeks into it now, I can safely say I was wrong.
It was at the supermarket that I realized that life truly is different here; I needed to find patience to wait two and a half months at the cashier. My Dutch and city impatience (a deadly combo) was itching before reminding myself that if I keep on wearing my Dutch glasses, I'm going to have a rough life here. So I relaxed. And smiled. And tried to just be another Italian dude at an Italian supermarket. Which, after having aged significantly and arriving at the cashier, became painfully clear that I am not.
You see, for most of my life, I've heard people say, 'you look Italian!' Then since ten years, after having met my beautiful and awesome Italian wife, I started coming to Italy, it quickly became clear that there's not an Italian that believes even for a second that I am an Italian. I got my groceries beeped. Hadn't spoken a word. The cashier looked at me, spoke loudly and gestured with her hands, shaping a bag: 'VUOLE UNA BUSTA?' (WOULD YOU LIKE A BAG?).
Everyone in the world might think I am an Italian, but the Italians know better.