The Gap Life Diaries | 15 Ways to know you’re having the true Italian Gap Life experience
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15 Ways to know you’re having the true Italian Gap Life experience

1) Your home friends are complaining about their grown up jobs and council tax and you can’t even pretend to know what they’re talking about.

2)   You spend half of your conversations raving about how great Italy is, and the other half raging about how much you detest it.

3)   You’ve become fiercely patriotic purely because you’ve forgotten about everything you didn’t like about your home country and are constantly reminded of all the things that you do like, because they don’t exist here (in my case, think bacon, crunchy peanut butter, real contracts, and general organization). As such, it’s only ok for you to complain about the British climate and overcooked roast dinners, but you take anybody else’s negative comments as a personal insult.

4)   Plane travel is no longer fun or exciting in any way…

5)   …and you have come to loathe Ryanair more than you ever thought possible.

6)   You have come to terms with the fact that Italians will always be late, and you will always be early for any kind of engagement, but end up spending half your income on coffee whilst waiting for people as a result.

7)   You have resigned yourself to the fact that getting paid is a rare occurrence, and practically have a party every time it happens.

8)   You have spent €3 on one tin of baked beans, because sometimes the nostalgia just gets too much.

9)   You are sure to never congratulate yourself on having managed to do anything bureaucracy-based until you have a piece of officially stamped paper in your hands…

10)  …and you treat trips to official offices much like appearances on a game show: there will be seemingly impossible challenges to face, and there’s a very real chance that you will walk out with nothing more than you came in with, other than a sense that you’ve totally wasted your time.

11)  You have started to speak English like a foreigner. Instead of “there are four of us”, you’ve started to say “we are in four”. When you aren’t on time for dinner, it’s because you “couldn’t find a parking”, and instead of formulating a real question, you just say your phrase, and pop “no?” at the end of it.

12)   You could happily never eat pasta ever again, yet seem to do so at least twice a day.

13)  Disco Radio has fully replaced Radio One, and you’ve got used to hearing songs by The Vengaboys 14 times a day.

14)  You no longer have the strength to argue when Europeans tell you that your earache/sore shoulder/broken rib/dislocated knee was certainly, definitely, beyond any shadow of a doubt, caused by the weather.

15) When they ask, you have started telling people you’re from London, not because you are, but because you’ve realized that 90% of the time, Italians aren’t asking because they want to know, but because they desperately want to tell you that they went to London and stayed at the [insert name of hotel you’ve obviously never heard of here] and oh di food-a was-a ‘orrible!

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