10. Finally figured out how to pay those damn Italian utility bills on line.

9. Now know the other parents at school, can match each child with their parent, and can follow a conversation when the other parents drift from English back to Italian in mid-sentence. . . .all this after months of vigorously nodding my head and smiling, with no idea of who people were or what they were saying to me.

8. Can actually help random tourists who ask for directions, instead of simply shrugging.

7. Still full from lunch at 6pm and not even considering dinner yet.

6. 70 degrees feels cold and warrants a scarf.

5. At last! Known and recognized by some of the most important people in Rome: the vegetable guy at the local market, the fishmonger, the cranky pasta lady, baristas at three good coffee places, the owner of the wine store around the corner, and the cheerful server at the best gelateria.

4. Work schedule now depends upon no new emails arriving until late afternoon here (when people in North America are just starting their mornings).

3. No longer intimidated to cross a street in Rome and am confident that the kids now know how to watch for motorscooters.

2. Average fat in Italian artisanal gelato = 8%; average fat in premium US ice cream = 22%.

1. 7780 kilometers facilitates denial about the Wisconsin recall election.

— Seth

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