The hardest parts of living in Rome

Bread

For a nation that loves its carby, starchy foods, they really don't have a great handle on the whole 'bread' situation. They've got the giant loaves sorted out, which is fine when you want something big and crusty to dip into soup or for mopping up the tasty, tasty juices on your plate, but average day-to-day bread is a mess. These guys are the cornerstone of western civilization yet they haven't figured out that a loaf of batch is like manna from heaven? And normal sandwich bread isn't much better, far too small and far too sweet to be of any use to anyone. I'm feeling like Nigel Tufnell in Spinal Tap.

Bud Spencer

Back home, street-sellers have posters of things like Scarface, Trainspotting and Bob Marley. Which gives us a good glimpse into the mindset of youth culture in Dublin - fascinated by drugs and trashy drug-related movies. Here, they sell posters of uh... Bud Spencer movies. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the Bud Spencer/Terrence Hill movies and when I was younger, I loved The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid, so I'm not really complaining. Just confused.

Italian Music

What. The. Fuck? Granted, I haven't looked very hard, and I'm sure that over the next three years, I'll eventually find some Italian music that I love but right now I've had it up to my fuckin' harbls with crappy power-ballads. Less Zucchero, more Jovanotti thx.

Fascism

I've never lived somewhere that had people actually still promoting fascism as a viable political option. Before I came here, I never heard anyone proudly describe themselves as a fascist. All the other things - the bread, the music, the pictures of Bud Spencer's giant face grinning out at me from the side of the street - I can get used to these, with enough time. I hope I never, ever get used to hearing someone proudly describe themselves as a fascist.