• Chi chiange, fotte a chi ride...

    There is a Neapolitan saying "chi chiange, fotte a chi ride" (Those who complain all the time are better off than those who show off all their wealth).

    It's symptomatic of the Italian condition to complain. Regardless of where they are, what they are doing, there is always a complaint somewhere down the line. I was complaining on twitter (nothing new there) about this image some have of Italy. It's really #notjusttuscanhills

    I'll whinge and whine about the mammoth journey to get to Naples (in winter). The lack of time I have visiting friends and family (or how they don't visit me). And I'll complain about things out of my control (like 99% of everyone I know).

    This Christmas there was a lot of complaining. Not by me, but by those around me. People finding it hard, genuinely, to pay for food and bills. Some having to make the choice to either have heating and light or an extra loaf of bread and jug of olive oil.

    Italy is struggling. It's estimated that 6 million people are working in the black market, if not more. That youth unemployment is at 48%, and families living together at home well into their forties and fifties, up 22% in three years.

    Where there was work, there isn't. Where there is work, it doesn't pay enough. Where you volunteer to gain experience, it comes out of your own pocket, and where there is school, at any level, you pay for the most elementary of objects.

    Politics and politicians have systematically destroyed the wealth and beauty of this country for the last 60 years, and people are now talking of a repeat of 1968... A young promising political candidate seems to be the one which everyone voted for, yet somehow he didn't win his own primaries.

    not even Matteo Renzi could get voted in, although everyone wanted him?!

    The list goes on and on...

    For all the love I have for my country, for all the desire I have to return one day, hopefully with a family, I'm finding it harder and harder to see things, hear certain things and tolerate most of the above. Take any romantic notion out of your head, Italy is like most countries, if you have a good job, you can live. If you don't, you can't.

    It really is #notjusttuscanhills. People are whinging, but I don't think they truly are better off, contrary to the saying.  

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