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Italy Expat Report

Moderated subforum for expat living and dating discussions. Members only. Must qualify to participate. See guidelines inside. Civil behavior only. No trolls, attacks, insults, quarrels or racism.
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eurobrat
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Post by eurobrat » September 23rd, 2014, 11:01 pm

publicduende wrote:An arrogant prick till the very end, huh? Leave that judgement to those who have been following our exchange. I couldn't care less about my image here. With all due respect, I care infinitely more to show my true self to those who I meet and talk to in person (and I can mention a couple of fine gentlemen from here, too). And, to some smaller extent, I care about restoring a measure of intellectual honesty in this particular debate, which is what you're definitely not showing.
Oh please, the intellectual honesty went out the door when you started flinging shit while I was writing about my experiences. Making me out to be a lonely, inexperienced travelling loser in Italy then you flung turds at whoever agreed with my experiences like Think Different. I really hope and pray that you will let go of your inner demons.

And I think your attitude and persona behind closed doors shows heaps more than in person, you've sadly picked up on the anglo fakeness trait of being an arse hole behind peoples backs.

You could care less about anything these days, you've become such a bitter ball of frustration and hate and people see it.
publicduende wrote:Where are your "happy in Berlin pics", by the way? Can you post a photo of yourself and a single new friend you made there (besides your flatmate), instead of arsehole-flavoured cheese clip-art? No. All narrative and posturing...exactly what many young Americans produce and feed on everyday.
I have produced more value for the community members than you have, that's a fact. We can even vote on that, and I'm better looking than you, we can have a vote on that one as well.

If you were my facebook friend instead of de-friending me like a 12 year old little girl you would see I went out this entire weekend and had a blast. Went to the Markt am Kollwitzplatz for some Zwiebelkuchen (German pie with onions, ham and sour creme paired with a Aperol Spritz a pairing I would request as a last meal), Kultur Brauerei, and Grunewald Park. This truly is the best city in Europe.

All top places to visit here in Berlin. I did make friends with a few Swedish tourists and one German guy at the market. No I didn't take pics with them as it's ackward when first meeting them, I did get one of the Swedish girls facebook to keep in contact.

I'm doing my Berlin writeup soon, I'm still collecting data.

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Post by Seeker » September 24th, 2014, 3:17 am

On 2), I believed this was common sense, but apparently it helps reiterating. Cliquish social circles open by invitation only are not a terrible plague, but a natural trait of small and provincial towns, where everybody knows everybody else and trust is usually only gained via a proxy. Italy has an overwhelming majority of towns under 70K inhabitants, so this is the norm. Trying to trump this simple reality is delusional and slightly arrogant. EB was reminded to "act like a Roman in Rome" a tremendous number of times and always preferred to go solo. No surprise he failed miserably.
They become a plague when:

1. They are all that exist in a place, AND

2. NONE of them allow you entry, as if they were some kind of exclusive club full of unique, beautiful snowflakes.

Regarding the small town issue, anywhere in Asia I've been the people in smaller towns have been even friendlier than the people in bigger cities. As long as you speak the language you'd have no trouble making friends anywhere. When I lived in Bangkok a few years ago I made friends with some local guys who worked near where I lived, I met them as they hung out drinking together as I walked down the street. In China and the Philippines I made friends effortlessly through work colleagues and women. That's how easy it is to make friends in Asia even for someone like me who is a quiet, somewhat shy introvert. Even in England with it's somewhat cold reputation it's not very hard to find people to have a beer with and talk to, though you might have to put in a bit more effort. The rest of the world is not like those little Italian towns.

You're right that eurobrat should have tried a bigger, more cosmopolitan city though. Most foreigners are happier in such places.

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Post by eurobrat » September 24th, 2014, 8:35 pm

Seeker wrote: You're right that eurobrat should have tried a bigger, more cosmopolitan city though. Most foreigners are happier in such places.
I've been through this before on this thread, I cannot afford to live in Milan or Rome. Even with my job now that pays more than regular Italian jobs of the same nature about €800-1000/month gross full-time.

Rent in Milan is €700-800 for a shit room outside the city center. Going and getting a pizza is €15, a glass of wine is €7. A day metro ticket is €3. Club entrance fees are €20. I would have nothing left over each month on my small €1500-€2000 earnings. And the standards are very low and poor.

Milan:
Image

Rome:
Image

Italy is just not worth it for anyone to live in given the current crisis there. This is why all Italians live at home because they're forced too with the shitty pay they receive and the ultra high cost of living. And ultimately this is why they have such a bad attitude right now with their hectic overworked lifestyle with no end or reward within reach.

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Post by publicduende » September 25th, 2014, 8:12 am

Seeker wrote:
On 2), I believed this was common sense, but apparently it helps reiterating. Cliquish social circles open by invitation only are not a terrible plague, but a natural trait of small and provincial towns, where everybody knows everybody else and trust is usually only gained via a proxy. Italy has an overwhelming majority of towns under 70K inhabitants, so this is the norm. Trying to trump this simple reality is delusional and slightly arrogant. EB was reminded to "act like a Roman in Rome" a tremendous number of times and always preferred to go solo. No surprise he failed miserably.
They become a plague when:

1. They are all that exist in a place, AND

2. NONE of them allow you entry, as if they were some kind of exclusive club full of unique, beautiful snowflakes.

Regarding the small town issue, anywhere in Asia I've been the people in smaller towns have been even friendlier than the people in bigger cities. As long as you speak the language you'd have no trouble making friends anywhere. When I lived in Bangkok a few years ago I made friends with some local guys who worked near where I lived, I met them as they hung out drinking together as I walked down the street. In China and the Philippines I made friends effortlessly through work colleagues and women. That's how easy it is to make friends in Asia even for someone like me who is a quiet, somewhat shy introvert. Even in England with it's somewhat cold reputation it's not very hard to find people to have a beer with and talk to, though you might have to put in a bit more effort. The rest of the world is not like those little Italian towns.

You're right that eurobrat should have tried a bigger, more cosmopolitan city though. Most foreigners are happier in such places.
Social circles are a ubiquitous trait of: all mediterranean European countries (so Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and to some extent France), all of the Middle East and most of Africa, all Latin American countries and most of South East Asia, including Thailand, China and the Philippines. Perhaps not all the world, but a big slice of it still "tribal" when it comes to giving trust and socialising.

You say in China and the Philippines you made friends "through work colleagues and women". Exactly, you get introduced and join your referees' social circles . The fact family and social circles are there does not mean it's impossible to get into. In fact it's as easy as showing an appreciation for the local culture and community, and a desire to establish yourself. On the latter, you having a job probably gave them the impression that you were not the average tourist/monger.

EB had none of that in Italy, and what he got out of it was nothing but rejection and frustration.

A word about England...yes it's true, you can walk into a pub and you will always find one or two people drinking alone and willing to strike a casual conversation, and even exchange you their Facebook, e-mail or phone number in the end. The trouble is, they consider that encounter as a very transient and superficial one, so you shouldn't read too much into it. One thing you can learn very well in the UK is that "friendly" and "polite" are not synonyms of "open to a friendship".

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Post by eurobrat » September 25th, 2014, 10:00 am

publicduende wrote:Social circles are a ubiquitous trait of: all mediterranean European countries (so Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece and to some extent France), all of the Middle East and most of Africa, all Latin American countries and most of South East Asia, including Thailand, China and the Philippines. Perhaps not all the world, but a big slice of it still "tribal" when it comes to giving trust and socialising.
Social circles are everywhere, but it doesn't mean a society is open to meeting foreigners. Italy is a place where they don't care to meet foreigners or immigrants, in fact they're despised.
publicduende wrote:You say in China and the Philippines you made friends "through work colleagues and women". Exactly, you get introduced and join your referees' social circles . The fact family and social circles are there does not mean it's impossible to get into. In fact it's as easy as showing an appreciation for the local culture and community, and a desire to establish yourself. On the latter, you having a job probably gave them the impression that you were not the average tourist/monger.

EB had none of that in Italy, and what he got out of it was nothing but rejection and frustration.
Well I couldn't find a decent job in Italy and I would have starved and gone broke in the process, you know this. And I came to Italy with a desire to establish myself only to find it's a game that can't be won.
publicduende wrote:A word about England...yes it's true, you can walk into a pub and you will always find one or two people drinking alone and willing to strike a casual conversation, and even exchange you their Facebook, e-mail or phone number in the end. The trouble is, they consider that encounter as a very transient and superficial one, so you shouldn't read too much into it. One thing you can learn very well in the UK is that "friendly" and "polite" are not synonyms of "open to a friendship".
It's superficial everywhere dude, stop putting a geolocation on it like theres some mythical society out there that will welcome you with open arms and 100 virgins. There are no "instafriendships" or "instadates" anywhere.

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Post by publicduende » September 25th, 2014, 11:16 am

eurobrat wrote:Social circles are everywhere, but it doesn't mean a society is open to meeting foreigners. Italy is a place where they don't care to meet foreigners or immigrants, in fact they're despised.
If you want a place where a (white, Caucasian) foreigner is revered and he receives trust and authority even before he can prove he is worth them, then Italy is not the place. Nowhere in Europe is the place, even Moldova and the poorest fringes of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. People have their own lives, their own trouble. If they find you interesting, they would be curious and connect to you. You did meet at least one person who found you interesting and could communicate with you quite well in English (he rented you his spare room) and if you had been open to connecting to the right circles, you would have met many more.

Nobody is saying Italy is social and dating paradise, but in that respect, it's no different than any other place.
eurobrat wrote:Well I couldn't find a decent job in Italy and I would have starved and gone broke in the process, you know this. And I came to Italy with a desire to establish myself only to find it's a game that can't be won.
How many CV's did you send? How many interviews did you had? *Usually* you don't get decent jobs falling on your lap just because, you need to put some reasonable effort, and it's the same (if not harder) in a place like Italy. Speaking of which, I talked to your ex-flatmate a few days ago and he mentioned Honeywell called you for an interview, saying they were interested in your profile.

So here you are: US multinational, decent English speaking job which would have opened doors for both a better professional and social life, and you probably didn't do more than upload your CV on a job board to get it. But you simply couldn't be bothered - that would have ruined the picture you had so carefully crafted in your mind, that of a unfriendly declining place with no opportunities. Or you had promised yourself to avoid white collar jobs like the plague, which is understandable, yet doesn't explain why you keep complaining that you tried and failed.
eurobrat wrote:It's superficial everywhere dude, stop putting a geolocation on it like theres some mythical society out there that will welcome you with open arms and 100 virgins. There are no "instafriendships" or "instadates" anywhere.
Well, it's you wanting to single out Italy and contrasting it with Germany at all costs. I am not a travel blogger and don't have a duty to post useful information about Italy and Europe but, if you ask me, I am very well aware that all of Europe is quite homogeneous in that respect. There is the small town and the large city socialising model, there are people who are open and friendly by personality and nature and those who push themselves because they're new in town and don't know anybody. There are snobbish and cold people both in small towns and in large cities.

By all means enjoy Berlin as you're doing, but it's about time you woke up to the idea that Berlin is not much different than Milan or any other large city in Europe.

And just to reply you to the other post, how often have you been to Milan? Two or three times, in 8 months in Como (a place 30 minutes away)? You probably visited the square kilometer around Piazza Duomo, read the menus on the (notorious) tourist trap pizzeria and restaurants and hastily drew your conclusions on how locals live, how much they spend etc. We got it, you didn't like Italy and you're slapping this in our face at every chance, but at least be fair when quoting facts.

For the umpteenth time, €15 buys you a good pizza AND a beer or wine in an average pizzeria. Yes you can pay €15 for just the pizza in a posh restaurant in the centre, but would you really want to dine there more than once a month, on a special occasion maybe? Milan doesn't really have shitty areas, as even the ex-industrial zones like Bicocca have been regenerated. There are more working class towns in the commuting belt, like Sesto Marelli or Quarto Oggiaro, but most of Milan is quite middle class and residential. €800 gets you an entire 2-room flat 10 minutes away from the city centre, and the below large studio flat is €542, near the San Siro football stadium.

http://milano.bakeca.it/offro-casa/mono ... da87798879

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Post by eurobrat » September 25th, 2014, 11:51 am

publicduende wrote:For the umpteenth time, €15 buys you a good pizza AND a beer or wine in an average pizzeria. Yes you can pay €15 for just the pizza in a posh restaurant in the centre, but would you really want to dine there more than once a month, on a special occasion maybe? Milan doesn't really have shitty areas, as even the ex-industrial zones like Bicocca have been regenerated. There are more working class towns in the commuting belt, like Sesto Marelli or Quarto Oggiaro, but most of Milan is quite middle class and residential. €800 gets you an entire 2-room flat 10 minutes away from the city centre, and the below large studio flat is €542, near the San Siro football stadium.

http://milano.bakeca.it/offro-casa/mono ... da87798879
€542 base rent + €100/heating + €100 Electricity + €50/Electricity + €30/Internet = €722

Commissione: 10% canone annuo???? Is this included? He doesn't say, because most likely he's a shister and not including it in his price and will tell you after you go and see the place.

There's probably other hidden costs and all for one Camera, Cucina, and Bagno. It's not even furnished and he didn't show the kitchen or bathroom, which tells me that's missing stuff too or it's in such horrible condition it isn't worth photographing.

The balcony is useless to me, and the location isn't bad but it isn't great. I would be lonely there, I imagine sitting there in the corner alone just working with one lamp, one table and a shitty bed and my only enjoyment being the 5pm overpriced Apertivo buffet down the street.

How the hell does anyone afford that on a €1000/month gross salary, they don't.

Looking back now after seeing German standards or even eastern European standards Italy is a blatant rip off.

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Post by publicduende » September 25th, 2014, 12:16 pm

eurobrat wrote:€542 base rent + €100/heating + €100 Electricity + €50/Electricity + €30/Internet = €722

Commissione: 10% canone annuo???? Is this included? He doesn't say, because most likely he's a shister and not including it in his price and will tell you after you go and see the place.

There's probably other hidden costs and all for one Camera, Cucina, and Bagno. It's not even furnished and he didn't show the kitchen or bathroom, which tells me that's missing stuff too or it's in such horrible condition it isn't worth photographing.

The balcony is useless to me, and the location isn't bad but it isn't great. I would be lonely there, I imagine sitting there in the corner alone just working with one lamp, one table and a shitty bed and my only enjoyment being the 5pm overpriced Apertivo buffet down the street.

How the hell does anyone afford that on a €1000/month gross salary, they don't.

Looking back now after seeing German standards or even eastern European standards Italy is a blatant rip off.
What have bills got to do with rent? Of course they're separate. And of course you have to visit the flat to make sure you like it. €550 is an average price though. You could get more luxury and/or a slightly better areas for a 100/150 Euros more, but that flat is absolutely fine for a young, single professional on an average salary of about $1500 a month.

The balcony is useless...and you don't have the latest trendy bar just next door...dude, what are you talking about? You live in former Berlin East, with red brick real-socialist buildings all around you, and not complaining. Anyway it's always individual choice where and how you live. You just want to show that Berlin is better than Milan, which probably is, but you're using the wrong examples. You're just biased, and prepared to make stuff up just for the sake of throwing mud on Italy hoping that'll stick.

The earlier you admit it that you cannot be impartial, the quicker we can all move on from this pathetic thread.

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Post by eurobrat » September 25th, 2014, 4:59 pm

Public Duende wrote:What have bills got to do with rent? Of course they're separate. And of course you have to visit the flat to make sure you like it. €550 is an average price though. You could get more luxury and/or a slightly better areas for a 100/150 Euros more, but that flat is absolutely fine for a young, single professional on an average salary of about $1500 a month.
Because that's how I budget my life, I look at everything is costs for me to operate. I don't like hidden bills so I look at it all as my total monthly expense. What would I do in there dude? No one I invite over would come to my place and have a little dinner party. I would be lonely and depressed.
Public Duende wrote:The balcony is useless...and you don't have the latest trendy bar just next door...dude, what are you talking about? You live in former Berlin East, with red brick real-socialist buildings all around you, and not complaining. Anyway it's always individual choice where and how you live. You just want to show that Berlin is better than Milan, which probably is, but you're using the wrong examples. You're just biased, and prepared to make stuff up just for the sake of throwing mud on Italy hoping that'll stick.

The earlier you admit it that you cannot be impartial, the quicker we can all move on from this pathetic thread.
I agree but...I'm not being impartial, sure I miss the Italian architecture, the culture a bit and of course the food. But I'm spiting out cold hard facts and real numbers. The numbers in Italy don't even make sense for what you get and all you guys do is sit back and blame the Euro and false oppression.

I pay €450 all in right now EVERYTHING INCLUDED FULLY FURNISHED.

I'm even sleeping on a €1500 mattress, one of the best I have slept on in my life. Some days I don't even want to get out of bed and I don't. I'm in the best neighbourhood in Berlin near the tram stop about 3 blocks walk. I have several bars down the street packed with nice people, a pizzeria that sells €4 margarita pizzas and €3 glass of wine and €2 pints of beer. There's never-ending events, the best social scene and bars and restaurants and even a high end grocery store that are open 24/7. This place is better than any US big city I have been too or lived in for the price. Berlin is poor but sexy and classy at the same time.

If you can find me this same value in Italy, let me know because I looked and came to the conclusion Italy is for old rich people and not people like us.

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Post by publicduende » September 25th, 2014, 5:31 pm

eurobrat wrote:Because that's how I budget my life, I look at everything is costs for me to operate. I don't like hidden bills so I look at it all as my total monthly expense. What would I do in there dude? No one I invite over would come to my place and have a little dinner party. I would be lonely and depressed.

LOL you wouldn't believe where people invite people, in Italy. When I was living there our usual party place was a 3-bedroom flat shared by 4 people (2 singles and 1 couple) and with a tiny kitchen + open plan living room. At least in Italy, it's not about the size and quality of the house, but the quality of the people (and, why not, the food and wine too) that matter.

Yes, place like Milan have the reputation of being home to upper middle class snobbish people who wouldn't even think of walking into a flat smaller than 100 sqm and with a lounge packed of designer furniture. The majority of young people there are students or young professionals with no particular expectations, besides having a relaxed chat with friends, with a large bowl of spaghetti aglio e olio and a bottle of good home made red. It would have been a very different lifestyle, if you had been living there or at least known a few of them.
eurobrat wrote:I agree but...I'm not being impartial, sure I miss the Italian architecture, the culture a bit and of course the food. But I'm spiting out cold hard facts and real numbers. The numbers in Italy don't even make sense for what you get and all you guys do is sit back and blame the Euro and false oppression.

I pay €450 all in right now EVERYTHING INCLUDED FULLY FURNISHED.
I don't understand...weren't you paying roughly the same amount for a furnished room and all bills included in Como? You would have probably found something similar in Milan, maybe for 50/100 Euros more, or maybe not. Perhaps you're paying a bit less and getting a bit more because you're subletting somebody else's room. Nothing out of this world, anyway.

I may agree that living alone in Milan and not sharing any of the bills will add about €100/150 (definitely not €200/250 as you quote) to the rent, but that's the same everywhere. Rent-wise Milan is not as expensive as you think. In fact I heard from a few friends that rents have gone down because of the crisis.

And what numbers are you quoting? Hard numbers taken from what? The menus from the pizzerias in Piazza Duomo?

Round the corner where I was working/living there was a pizzeria called "Americ", owned by an Egyptian chap. And we're talking a side street from Corso Sempione, so pretty central. All pizzas were between €3 and €5 and a pint of Peroni was 1.5€. I remember it quite well because we used to go there at least twice a week for lunch and our luncheon vouchers were €5.50, which got us a pizza, a beer and a coffee. Out of curiosity, I have just checked on TripAdvisor, looks like pizzas have gone up by a mere €0.50. There you go, "Berlin" prices...and I guess the pizza can't be worse :)

It takes time to understand a city. If you had the grace to hold off your frustrations and actually explore Italy, or even your neighbourhoods, a little more, you would have had a lot of surprises. Anyway, you were already in negative mode, nothing you would have seen or done could have changed your mind...
eurobrat wrote:I'm even sleeping on a €1500 mattress, one of the best I have slept on in my life. Some days I don't even want to get out of bed and I don't. I'm in the best neighbourhood in Berlin near the tram stop about 3 blocks walk. I have several bars down the street packed with nice people, a pizzeria that sells €4 margarita pizzas and €3 glass of wine and €2 pints of beer. There's never-ending events, the best social scene and bars and restaurants and even a high end grocery store that are open 24/7. This place is better than any US big city I have been too or lived in for the price. Berlin is poor but sexy and classy at the same time.

If you can find me this same value in Italy, let me know because I looked and came to the conclusion Italy is for old rich people and not people like us.
Sounds like what you could find in Milan, Rome, Bologna or many large-ish university towns. This is the way we live in Europe: it's the same in suburban Madrid, Amsterdam, and even London (and I guess Paris) have neighbourhoods where that vibe is still alive in kicking and you can have decent food and serious fun with cheap. Of course beer will never be that cheap in London, but try Cava Baja in Madrid and you'll find exactly the stuff you've described in Berlin (and a lot more cigarette smoke, too).

Look, I am not even getting upset anymore. Whether you're in good or bad faith when you quote away those "facts and figures", you may have lived IN Italy for a year, but you clearly haven't lived much OF Italy. Even your ex-flatmate was confirming me...you have seen some of the most modest expressions of Italian society: the uneducated baristas and some bored punters who sit there in early evening while most people are busy working, the immigrants, etc. It's what I told you, time and again: had you been (indeed, had you wanted to be) with the right kinds of people, your perception of Como, Lombardy or the whole of Italy would have been a lot different.

Well, enjoy Berlin.

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Post by eurobrat » September 25th, 2014, 6:24 pm

publicduende wrote:LOL you wouldn't believe where people invite people, in Italy. When I was living there our usual party place was a 3-bedroom flat shared by 4 people (2 singles and 1 couple) and with a tiny kitchen + open plan living room. At least in Italy, it's not about the size and quality of the house, but the quality of the people (and, why not, the food and wine too) that matter.

Yes, place like Milan have the reputation of being home to upper middle class snobbish people who wouldn't even think of walking into a flat smaller than 100 sqm and with a lounge packed of designer furniture. The majority of young people there are students or young professionals with no particular expectations, besides having a relaxed chat with friends, with a large bowl of spaghetti aglio e olio and a bottle of good home made red. It would have been a very different lifestyle, if you had been living there or at least known a few of them.
You fail to tell everyone those are people who cultivated relationships that took 2,4,5 years to when you're able to invite them over. You can't just rush things and make friendships as easily as other countries.
publicduende wrote:I don't understand...weren't you paying roughly the same amount for a furnished room and all bills included in Como? You would have probably found something similar in Milan, maybe for 50/100 Euros more, or maybe not. Perhaps you're paying a bit less and getting a bit more because you're subletting somebody else's room. Nothing out of this world, anyway.

I may agree that living alone in Milan and not sharing any of the bills will add about €100/150 (definitely not €200/250 as you quote) to the rent, but that's the same everywhere. Rent-wise Milan is not as expensive as you think. In fact I heard from a few friends that rents have gone down because of the crisis.

And what numbers are you quoting? Hard numbers taken from what? The menus from the pizzerias in Piazza Duomo?
Yea but I got my residency and now have a German bank account without giving them my US SS number to have to "report" my earnings here. Something I couldn't accomplish in renting 3 flats in Italy in a year.

And those numbers are from my data and others, it's a fact that Milan and Rome are 50%+ more expensive than Berlin. So I get 50% more for my money and I can actually feel and see that here.
publicduende wrote:Round the corner where I was working/living there was a pizzeria called "Americ", owned by an Egyptian chap. And we're talking a side street from Corso Sempione, so pretty central. All pizzas were between €3 and €5 and a pint of Peroni was 1.5€. I remember it quite well because we used to go there at least twice a week for lunch and our luncheon vouchers were €5.50, which got us a pizza, a beer and a coffee. Out of curiosity, I have just checked on TripAdvisor, looks like pizzas have gone up by a mere €0.50. There you go, "Berlin" prices...and I guess the pizza can't be worse :)
We have real Italians here making the pizzas, something that is becoming rare in Italy. And yes they taste the same if not better without the added bureaucracy.
publicduende wrote:It takes time to understand a city. If you had the grace to hold off your frustrations and actually explore Italy, or even your neighbourhoods, a little more, you would have had a lot of surprises. Anyway, you were already in negative mode, nothing you would have seen or done could have changed your mind...
Had one person just invited me out with them and I saw the light, maybe my opinion would be different. But seeing as all I could get was Albanians and other immigrants my opinion stands firm. This is why I like seeing Italians, Spanish and French here, they're a fish out of water without their social cliques, language and family.
publicduende wrote:Sounds like what you could find in Milan, Rome, Bologna or many large-ish university towns. This is the way we live in Europe: it's the same in suburban Madrid, Amsterdam, and even London (and I guess Paris) have neighbourhoods where that vibe is still alive in kicking and you can have decent food and serious fun with cheap. Of course beer will never be that cheap in London, but try Cava Baja in Madrid and you'll find exactly the stuff you've described in Berlin (and a lot more cigarette smoke, too).
Yea I don't know about this, culture and people are different everywhere in Europe. This isn't middle America.
publicduende wrote:Look, I am not even getting upset anymore. Whether you're in good or bad faith when you quote away those "facts and figures", you may have lived IN Italy for a year, but you clearly haven't lived much OF Italy. Even your ex-flatmate was confirming me...you have seen some of the most modest expressions of Italian society: the uneducated baristas and some bored punters who sit there in early evening while most people are busy working, the immigrants, etc. It's what I told you, time and again: had you been (indeed, had you wanted to be) with the right kinds of people, your perception of Como, Lombardy or the whole of Italy would have been a lot different.
I'm not sure who can live there except those that grow up there and don't know how much better things are outside of the gate.

He (my flatmate) hardly even went out himself, and then when he did go out to Milan he never invited me and came up with excuses like "Oh we would be speaking Italian the entire time and I don't want them to bore you". So instead I just sat in my room festering, being negative and cultivating hate until I just popped and had to go to another place where I felt more welcoming and less burdensome on people.

And plus he wants to leave Italy too, and he's even dating a non-italian girl. I talked to him last week and he was telling me a scenario where at times he feels invisible to the locals.

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publicduende
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Post by publicduende » September 25th, 2014, 11:34 pm

eurobrat wrote:You fail to tell everyone those are people who cultivated relationships that took 2,4,5 years to when you're able to invite them over. You can't just rush things and make friendships as easily as other countries.
Well, not really, no. Of course some friendships grow naturally more solid when you spend a lot of your formative years with the same boy and girls. You probably don't know this, but the Italian school system has fixed classrooms and rotating teachers. This means that, basically since you're 5 or 6, you have a chance to spend half of your weekday with the same group of 25/30 peers. We only have primary (5 years), junior high (3 years) and high (4 or 5 years) school, so we spend 13 years with about 80 people.

That perhaps explains why we don't see being "tribal" and cliquish as a big problem. Just saying... Things aren't that black and white anyway, as there is always the chance to befriend kids from other class, the cute girl 2 years younger, friends from a rock band or a sports club, etc. But I guess you get it.

What I was referring to was the kinds of relationships and friendships that blossom out of the necessity to create and maintain a circle of friends, or at least trusted and fun people, in large cities where one moves to get a job and work. Milan is such a city, and so is Rome, Bologna and to a lesser extent Naples, Genova, etc.

Nobody has 2, 4 5 years to befriend somebody in those environments. One goes out with work colleagues, acquaintances from courses and social events, or even random people met in bars. You seemed to cave in quite a lot and never had A (your flatmate) as a right wingman. That did quite a bit of damage. That's why I recommended you to meet my cousin. It would have been one reference point to meet more people and finally stop complaining.

Anyway, what's done is done.
eurobrat wrote:Yea but I got my residency and now have a German bank account without giving them my US SS number to have to "report" my earnings here. Something I couldn't accomplish in renting 3 flats in Italy in a year.

And those numbers are from my data and others, it's a fact that Milan and Rome are 50%+ more expensive than Berlin. So I get 50% more for my money and I can actually feel and see that here.
That you didn't (or couldn't be given) a residency was something between you and your flatmate. Why do you want to make that representative of an entire culture? Had you gone to an estate agency you would have had a regular contract and would have had to explain a lot less to your bank manager. As for earnings reporting, isn't that a bilateral agreement between the US and a lot of other countries? Is it just Italy's fault?

LOL what are "your data"? Have you actually lived in Milan or Rome, I mean not eating a pizza in front of the Duomo (which might be a nice experience, but costly and hopefully one-off)? I may well agree that Berlin is cheaper and easier to live in, which is why it has become popular with young un-sophisticated professionals from all over Europe, but 50% cheaper? Hmm, sounds really exaggerated.
eurobrat wrote:We have real Italians here making the pizzas, something that is becoming rare in Italy. And yes they taste the same if not better without the added bureaucracy.
No shit, we have tons of them in London, too. The migrant pizzaman has been an Italian classic for two centuries :) Are you being racist towards the coptic Egyptians who bake the best pizzas in Milan? Don't you know that they (not us) invented that particular type of dough? Same like waxing lyrical about Italian espresso until you taste a Turkish coffee in a second-tier city market in Turkey and it's all a journey back in time, where it all started.
eurobrat wrote:Had one person just invited me out with them and I saw the light, maybe my opinion would be different. But seeing as all I could get was Albanians and other immigrants my opinion stands firm. This is why I like seeing Italians, Spanish and French here, they're a fish out of water without their social cliques, language and family.
People did invite you, but you were too busy with work or gym, or they were too old, or too trashy, or too uneducated, or too Albanian. You had more excuses in your pocket than the average American has credit cards in their wallets. It feels almost cruel to keep bashing you on this..

Let's say you never were in the mood, and unable to catch opportunities that are now much more visible in Berlin.
eurobrat wrote:Yea I don't know about this, culture and people are different everywhere in Europe. This isn't middle America.
You're an American, that's why you see things this way. As an European, you would notice the commonalities much more than the differences, albeit present. It will be many years before you get bored of Europe, like it took me 15 years to start feeling London and the UK a little worn out.
eurobrat wrote:I'm not sure who can live there except those that grow up there and don't know how much better things are outside of the gate.
You can stay in Italy by choice or force, or anything in between. There is some very subtle wisdom in those who decide to stay. Perhaps they feel the world outside isn't that inviting as it might appear. I surely feel like they're right, after 15 years here. Sure, I am making more money, but the price I had to pay was to give up a lot of who I was and - most importantly - wanted to continue to be.
eurobrat wrote:He (my flatmate) hardly even went out himself, and then when he did go out to Milan he never invited me and came up with excuses like "Oh we would be speaking Italian the entire time and I don't want them to bore you". So instead I just sat in my room festering, being negative and cultivating hate until I just popped and had to go to another place where I felt more welcoming and less burdensome on people.

And plus he wants to leave Italy too, and he's even dating a non-italian girl. I talked to him last week and he was telling me a scenario where at times he feels invisible to the locals.
Maybe I shouldn't say this here, but I did ask him about this detail - why he never asked you to join him when he was out and about with his friends. His answer did not surprise me to the slightest: you were way too negative and pessimist and depressed, and didn't want any of that to rub off on him. Considering everything, I guess he could have been kinder and actually tried to change those moods of yours. On another side though, I can't say he saw wrong - at some point all the poison, the hate, the frustration started to really affect my day. That's why I had to go to the extreme length of removing you on FB and Skype...couldn't stand you and your negativity.

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Post by eurobrat » September 26th, 2014, 12:14 am

publicduende wrote:That's why I recommended you to meet my cousin. It would have been one reference point to meet more people and finally stop complaining.
I didn't really connect or like your cousin when I talked to him. I'm sure he's a good guy but he's too young and I found him aloof and too care free, always happy and never worrying. It's unreal the 2-3 times I talked to him he always had this upbeat, "everything is cool" attitude that just rubbed off wrong on me.
publicduende wrote:Maybe I shouldn't say this here, but I did ask him about this detail - why he never asked you to join him when he was out and about with his friends. His answer did not surprise me to the slightest: you were way too negative and pessimist and depressed, and didn't want any of that to rub off on him. Considering everything, I guess he could have been kinder and actually tried to change those moods of yours. On another side though, I can't say he saw wrong - at some point all the poison, the hate, the frustration started to really affect my day. That's why I had to go to the extreme length of removing you on FB and Skype...couldn't stand you and your negativity.
Yea whatever, real nice of him to do that. So when someone is angry, hurting, depressed, lonely in another country with just one suitcase, one backpack and working from a laptop with no friends or family or life outside the gym and work he thinks it's proper to just leave him in the corner to rot.

Gee did it ever occur to him why I was so depressed and negative? Plus he was the one who came home from work bitching most the time nagging to me like I was his wife.

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Post by publicduende » September 26th, 2014, 12:26 am

eurobrat wrote:I didn't really connect or like your cousin when I talked to him. I'm sure he's a good guy but he's too young and I found him aloof and too care free, always happy and never worrying. It's unreal the 2-3 times I talked to him he always had this upbeat, "everything is cool" attitude that just rubbed off wrong on me.
You can't even begin to imagine how much p***y he manages to extort with that kind of attitude. :) That's why I knew he would have been the perfect antidote for your poisoned (and poisonous) moods.
eurobrat wrote:Yea whatever, real nice of him to do that. So when someone is angry, hurting, depressed, lonely in another country with just one suitcase, one backpack and working from a laptop with no friends or family or life outside the gym and work he thinks it's proper to just leave him in the corner to rot.

Gee did it ever occur to him why I was so depressed and negative? Plus he was the one who came home from work bitching most the time nagging to me like I was his wife.
I know, but like I said in another post, this kind of negativity is infectious and most people, even those with the best intentions, find themselves ill-equipped to deal with it.

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Post by eurobrat » September 26th, 2014, 12:38 am

publicduende wrote:You can't even begin to imagine how much p***y he manages to extort with that kind of attitude. :) That's why I knew he would have been the perfect antidote for your poisoned (and poisonous) moods.
I tried this kind of attitude, it seems too fake and didn't work out for me. This is why I prefer the more down to earth cynical and negative girls.
publicduende wrote: I know, but like I said in another post, this kind of negativity is infectious and most people, even those with the best intentions, find themselves ill-equipped to deal with it.
Whatever, seems like an excuse. He just thought I wasn't cool enough or didn't make enough money is what that response is code for.

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