So I have been living amongst British people for three years now. And it’s tricky. I think I am actually becoming English – I’m getting used to things I couldn’t even think about before!
First of all, my eating habits. Living in London has changed my eating habits so much, and not in a good way. I never used to have French fries before moving here. Now I have them for breakfast, sometimes as the perfect addition to a full English breakfast of eggs, bacon and beans. Perfect for your high cholesterol. But now I am used to it and enjoy having an English breakfast, which, by the way, is the perfect way of surviving a hangover on a Saturday morning.
It’s not just breakfast that’s changed though, having tea with milk in Italy is like having pasta with tomato ketchup. People will look at you as if you were completely crazy. Well, last time I went back home, I went to a cafè and ordered a tea with milk because having tea without it now seems absolutely impossible to me. And the bartender said: “Wow, are you English?” Maybe I am?
In addition to my eating habits, Brits have also changed my way of queuing. Before moving here, I just queued randomly wherever the other people were. Typical Italian.
Now, if the queue is not perfectly aligned, I feel lost, I don’t know where to queue. And yes, all my friends laugh at me because I ask them if we Italians will ever be able to queue with the same dedication to clear lines.
The Brits have calmed me down as well. Their calm, appeasing way of telling things and their politeness calmed my Italian spirit, my getting upset over everything very easily and my bad temper. Now for instance, if someone passes me while I am queuing, instead of yelling at them and gesticulating like a mad woman, I tap them on the shoulder and say: “Would you excuse me?”
The funny thing is, they always think I am English and let me go first. Useful, right?