Regular readers of this blog (hello, you two!) will have noticed a radical dropping-off in the number of posts. There are a handful of reasons for this, one of which, anyway, I will share. It’s been five years now since Expatriate made her inaugural foray into the blogosphere, and it’s been loads of fun. The premise of this blog was to explore the differences between life in the U.S. and life (albeit seen through an immigrant’s eyes) in Italy. Knowing that the blog was waiting for my every observation has kept my eyes open and my brain engaged in parsing the various approaches to aspects of daily living in both places. This could go on forever!
The truth is, though, that I no longer see life in Italy with the fresh eyes of five years ago. I’m not bored by any means, but the things that used to raise a Wow! reaction have now become part of the landscape, something so familiar that I rarely notice any more, unless a guest has brought over her fresh eyes and I get to see/say Wow! vicariously. Two examples will give ample illustration of my point. Our little town, San Maurizio di Monti, had its annual Sgabai fest this weekend. I have written about this already, and am not sure that simply re-doing what’s already been done will be of much interest to you or to me. Similarly, a recent day-trip with friends to Lucca was eye-popping and wonderful, as always – but do you (or I) really need another gee-whiz blog about Lucca? Google ‘Lucca Blog’ and you, like me, will get 3,800,000 results. I’m not sure the 3,800,001st would be of much interest or value. I can hear you both saying, ‘but Farfalle, you see things with your eyes, and see and write with a point of view that may be slightly different from other people’s.’ Well yes, but I’ve decided now to focus more on the Seeing with Eyes part of that sentiment and perhaps do a little less with words.
What I have learned through doing this blog is that while details of life in Italy and the U.S. may differ (sometimes radically), the business of life is much the same: people going about their daily business trying to be successful, happy, raise families, celebrate, eat – what everyone the world over does. For that reason I have put off writing about the bureaucracy of getting yet another Permesso di Soggiorno that allows me to stay legally in the country. Is it so very different from the kinds of bureaucracy that exist in the U.S. for immigrants? Not really. It’s perhaps slightly more complex, and the uniforms of the various functionaries are more interesting, but it all comes down to getting a document, which frankly is just not that interesting. (Besides, I’ve already written about it.)
What also has struck me over these years is that while we are all going about basically the same kind of business, the way it all looks is very different. The parade marking Rapallo’s attainment of a Captaincy has quite a different look from the Memorial Day parade in Harwinton, Connecticut (next door to where we used to live!), and yet they are both parades celebrating a political/historical event. Do we really need more photographs, any more than we need another blog post about Lucca? You may not agree, but I think we do; I hope we do. We need more photographs of Rapallo, of her citizens, dogs, cats, ducks, pigeons, cars; we need more photographs of San Maurizio di Monti and yes, we even need more photographs of much-photographed Lucca, because what my camera sees is not at all what your camera might see, and it’s all interesting (at least to me; but then I like to look at other people’s vacation and family photographs, too). So Expatriate will be posting more photographs and fewer expositions on How Things Are Different Here, though there will still be a bit of that when the need arises.
It turns out our similarities are greater than our differences. I hope you’ll find this new focus interesting and fun – I plan to.