We always talk about how different the Italians are to the Brits. I wrote a post about it not so long back. What we don’t so often hear about is how similar the Italians and the British actually are in many ways. Really, we are! Don’t believe me? Read on…
1. We like to complain. A lot.
The Italians like to joke that if complaining were a national sport then they would take the world championship every year. They have a point, because people do seem to love to moan here – the weather, the politics, the traffic, the health system, the rubbish on the TV, youth these days, old whingers, rude people, public transport, pollution, dishonest taxi drivers, the price of fuel… Sound familiar? Of course it does. Because while Italy may well win the world championships I’m pretty certain that we Brits would be runners up.
2. Our country is the best… and the worst
We all think our country is the best at some things and the worst at others. Both the Italians and the Brits complain that the other EU countries discriminate against us, that we have the worst immigration problem, that the health service sucks the most and we have the most useless politicians (a tautology, I fear). We also are both apparently the most civilised countries in the world with the richest history, the most developed healthcare service (see where this is all screwed up?) are the most benevolent and tolerant and have the best food. We like contradictions. We also don’t like foreigners to say the same shit about our country as we do, even if we secretly think it’s true. We are all a little bit xenophoic, and a little bit xenophiliac.
3. We are both obsessed with the beautiful game
Both countries are absolutely football mad. To the point of obsession. Not just when the world cup is on either… and both countries have had their fair share of problems with hooliganism. Want to reduce a grown man to tears? Make him watch his favourite team lose against their biggest rivals. Gets ’em every time.
4. We are all animal lovers
The UK is known for being basically a huge convention for doggy folk and for mad cat people. The reputation is deserved, and as a mad dog lady myself it is one that I personally am immensely proud of. Italy did not used to be much of an animal friendly place and in much of the older generation one can still see a great deal of this – fear yes, but mostly just lack of understanding as to why someone might want to share a home with an animal and as to why people get so attached to said animals. Things have changed though, and quite drastically – over the past few years the numbers of people with animals has skyrocketed, and thanks to some excellent celebrity and political champions the laws have changed from being apallingly primitive to being one of the most advanced legal systems in the world in terms of animal rights and cruelty prevention.
5. There are more nice people than assholes
In both countries, most people are essentially decent. They will help you if you are in difficulty, they will always stop to pass the time of day and are pretty friendly. Of course, here and elsewhere, you will mostly read about the assholes, because unfortunately those are the ones we remember. They do make for more entertaining reading too, of course…
With love, from Italy