Things I Learned In: Piacenza, Italy (Part 2)

I’ve been in Piacenza for a little over a month now, and I’d give anything for a line.  No, not drugs.  Read more to find out what I mean in Part 2 of what I’ve learned so far in Italy!


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It seems like it’s been forever and a day since I’ve written anything, but I’m back and better than ever.  Not really; I’m actually still the mess I’ve always been, but hopefully I’m a little bit more of an educated mess.  Hopefully.

Things have started to make a little bit of sense here, but I’m still riding the good ol’ learning curve.  I’ve picked up a few more things since Part 1 of Thing I Learned in Piacenza (which you should head over and read if you haven’t, BTW), but I can tell the road in front of me is still long (and probably paved with cobblestones that hurt my feet).

1. I’d Kill for a Line RN

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By line, I don’t mean any kind of drug (as you’d know if you read the description of this post), but an actual line.  Like.  To wait in.  I would literally give anything to wait in line.

Before you tell me that I’ve actually gone crazy (old news: I’ve been crazy, heaux!) you don’t know what it’s like waiting for things here in Italy.  Lines literally just don’t exist.  It seems like it’s every man for himself here, and while I can be as savage as the next person, I actually kind of miss the mindless pleasure of waiting in line and disassociating from my body for a few minutes.  Is that weird? Probably.  But I still miss it.

The other day I was waiting at the University’s Bar for lunch (not a cocktail – I’ll explain in my next point), which is basically a s*** show, because the entire school gets out at 1:30PM for a lunch break and everybody is hangry.  I am, arguably, the hangriest of them all.

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Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the hangriest of them all?

Anyway, the way it works is that you fight your way to the register and, if you make it there without committing murder, place your order. Then, you begin the colossal task of trying to get your receipt (more on that later) onto the next counter to get your actual order.  This should be an Olympic sport.  I’m serious.

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Let’s just say that releasing me into the wild when I’m hangry is like letting the bat out of hell.  Like the little demon that I am, I seem to feed on the chaos and anarchy that is the Italian lunchtime rush and I may or may not have elbowed a girl in the face in order to get my panino.  I’m not regretting it.  It was worth it.  Welcome to the jungle, sweaty (:

2. Bar Doesn’t Equal Alcohol

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Yes, there is a bar in my University.  No, it’s not like a bar-bar.  A bar in Italy is basically just a coffee shop, which is kind of misleading for an America.  I’ve come to the conclusion that if the Italians don’t get their coffee, I’m pretty sure the entire country would collapse.  Seriously… after every hour of class, we get a 10-minute coffee break.

Since they’re not really keen on the whole “to go” thing here, I’ve seen more than my fair share of people chugging coffee. Hot coffee. Do Italians just not have some kind temperature sensing whatever-it’s-called in their mouths or something to alert them that things are hot? Do they feel? I wish I didn’t feel anymore

All jokes aside, I kind of like being able to say that I’m going to the bar at 9:30AM because it makes me feel like a badass without all the damaging emotional baggage that probably comes with going to an American bar that early in the morning.  It’s just the little things in life, you know?

3. ALL THE RECEIPTS

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Italians like to pull out the receipts – drag me, cashier! But actually.

In the US, cashiers usually ask if you want the receipt, to which I usually respond no, because what do I need a piece of paper that tells me how much money I’m wasting for?  That’s just not how I lived life, but now, I’m a changed woman.  Mostly because I’m forced to be.  Thanks, Italy.

Receipts here don’t seem to be a choice; they’re an obligation.  When I get my bottle of water at the bar (hehe!) in the morning, even if it’s only €1, they automatically give me a receipt for it.  I may be trash, but I don’t need someone to pull the receipt to tell me so.  Oh well.

And that’s what I learned in Piacenza so far… with every day being a learning experience, I’m sure I’ll have more things to report on soon!


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