Language Learning – It takes a village

It used to be easy being a language learner in a country where the language is spoken. Pre-internet (yes, I’m dating myself) there was no opportunity to chat daily with friends back home, stream movies, download music, and have a translator on demand – unless the translator was a human you were involved with romantically. […]

The conspicuous lack of salads, Or, Why are there so few and uninteresting side salad options?

A few weeks ago my North American friend and I were talking about how there seems to be lack of fresh vegetables menu options in Italy. She had mentioned it was true in Croatia as well. We were commenting on how veggie-only dishes are all overcooked, bland vegetables. Also, if a restaurant offer salads, they […]

Cultural Differences – US American vs Russian (and others)

One of the objectives in coming to Italy was to understand the differences between our national cultures. Despite that being incredibly successful and far from being that simple, I have stumbled on other cultural differences that are interesting and, at times, concerning to me. Allow me to explain . . . As many of you […]

A Season of giving thanks – Thanksgiving spent Stateside

  Apologies for the delay in posting; I went home for Thanksgiving. I haven’t been home in a year! It was so magical to see my family and spend time with them. But first, a Thanksgiving backstory. I hate the Thanksgiving holiday. Like loathe it. I have had Thanksgivings that range from “meh” to “lonely” […]

Regione Italiane (Italian Regions)

  When talking about Italy, it’s probably difficult to have a conversation about Italy without hearing about Rome, Milano, Venice, and/or Florence. Interestingly, these main cities are all in different regions (what U.S. Americans could relate to as “States”). Despite the fact that all of Italy is about the size of California, the regions have […]

Corsi di Lingua e Cultura Italiana

I have to take a minute and acknowledge awesomeness when I see it.  I have been taking some lessons at a local school here in Verona. Veronetta129 is a wee school that only teaches Italian. They are organized, have private classes as well as group classes, and their prices are very reasonable. The instructors are […]

Trying Too Hard and the Realisation that Ignorance is Bliss

  I have always tried to understand people. I have also always wanted to be multilingual, have been consistently patient with non-native English speakers, and I had tried to communicate in other languages all while living in the U.S. Then I got my Master’s in Intercultural Relations and became aware of cultural differences. Then I […]