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the italian treatment

kuala lumpur
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the italian treatment

we just got back from a two week trip in italy. covering bologna, venice, verona, milan, florence, siena and rome. while we enjoyed the architecture, the scenery, the cultural and detailed artistic efforts of the well known italian arts...i can't say much about some of its people. it's sad...but i do believe there is still lots of transference and lack of respect for asians...Most of the people we interacted with were cordial, some friendly but rare that you find this.It was quite disheartening to see that in this global world, some still have that attitude of western world superiority. I must say..the americans treat their tourists much much better! you may say its the language barrier, but honestly..there are so many ways to communicate and get messages across. one airline ticketing officer actually asked me if i spoke italian (in italian)and insisted that i had answered her yes. as far as i remember, i must've only stared blankly in her face and perhaps blinked my eyes naturally to which she assumed i said yes!

Manchester, UK
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1. Re: the italian treatment

Hi doc aiz, I'm italian and I feel to empathize with you and apreciate your post, specially that you managed to keep it to a very diplomatic tone. I can clearly imagine/see what happen and the attitude of the ticketing officer is not surprising. Most of those italians that managed to get a job in the public sector/airport or just wear a uniform get this feeling of self-importance/power and live in their own world. I experienced the same attitude myself whilst in Italy but I try to not waste my time in arguing with them. Remember it's not you, it's just them with their unresolved personal issues.

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Berkshire
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2. Re: the italian treatment

Read your report but sorry to hear you felt alienated in Italy. It's one gorgeous country though isn't it and they like the french can come across as arrogant. Mind you it's everywhere - why can't we damn human beings just be nice to each other! However, giving you this line doesn't help and I tell you no matter what the country, if you come across someone who tries to boss you around, put you down or makes you feel uncomfortable, get in there first - put your nose up in the air, talk a little louder than they are and have a manner about you of "I am the customer you are here to serve" - they usually get the message because as someone said people in uniform have some kind of power thing going on but you are the customer. Next time learn a few words in Italian to bite back and don't act feeble with them. Yes americans are friendly on the whole but then you get the scary looking ones at passport control who try and intimidate you like the one at xmas when we went to the states. Looked at my passport and said "oh you were born in.... and have you visited - no and a few other questions until I lost my patience and told him to look at the date and I couldn't resist saying "well, that was before you were born" - prat and they are so ignorant with it.

Don't worry, the whole world is full of numb skulls. Don't let them put you off a lovely country.

BFN

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St Paul, MN
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3. Re: the italian treatment

I know what you are talking about even though I am white and half-Italian. It is this feeling like you are being considered second rate. I was kind of surprised by it the first time I went to Italy. Being half-Italian I had expected to be embraced as kind of a long lost cousin. No, I was just an American to them and my ancestors might have been from Mars.

To an Italian to be one of Them (instead of one of the Others) you have to have Italian parents AND be raised in Italy.

Americans have a different mindset because we are a heterogenous bunch. We are all descended from immigrants from all over the globe.

Italy is a great vacation destination regardless. try not to let it get in the way of enjoyment of things Italian. I am told the French are the same way.

This being considered second rate by the Italians has altered how I consider myself. Compared to Americans in general, I have a lot of what I considered Italian traits. I had considedred myself mentally as Italian. No more. Italians are my grandmother's people, and I am an American.

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Chieti, Italy
kuala lumpur
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4. Re: the italian treatment

well i'm glad i'm not the only one who feels that way, of course, nevertheless it was a beautiful country. funny though, i felt that even the french were friendlier! we did take the trouble to learn some italian words and of course that did help. i just wish that everyone in this world was more tolerant and accepting. for those of you reading this and have been to asia, i'm sure you agree with me that we smile more, and are more forthcoming with information. anyhow, no worries, i did not let it spoil my vacation, i humored the situation.

Chorley, United...
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5. Re: the italian treatment

I was born in Wigan, Lancashire. Ipso facto, I am perfect, all you other lot have a great deal of catching up to do.

Is that not an attitude you find everywhere, all round the world? Foreigners are always something different, strange and therefore inferior.

We forget, once we travel we are all foreigners.

However, there is no excuse not to be polite - even to foreigners!!

Verona, Italy
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6. Re: the italian treatment

RJ Has summed it up in a few lines using humour too.

I take it you mean perfect in the sense perfect but not as perfect as someone born in Scotland RJ??

Seriously it is all about attitude and how we deal with the rude.

Often, and I live in Italy speak Italian which many Italians don't even notice is not native Italian and still sometimes when going into a shop etc they will not say buongiorno very readily.

My answer to that is to repeat my buongiorno as many times as it takes for them to reply and then leave!!!

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7. Re: the italian treatment

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