Hotter Than Hell…

But with a much lower cost of living.

Two weeks into my summer back n the States and I’m lost in a culture shock of strip malls, $10 gyms, stores that are open all day, supermarkets that never close at all, and people who only speak English. Don’t ask me how it’s possible to be uncomfortable around all of this ultra convenience – I call it a gift.

Living in Italy has spoiled me. Sure nothing is ever open. But when it is they remember you, and most of the time whatever you buy might be the greatest thing you ever tasted.  Most of the fruit in Florida now tastes like it’s a stage prop. Stay classy Monsanto.

I will say that it’s relaxing, and I’m getting work done. I was able to shop for things I can’t get in Italy, and for other things that are just too expensive to buy overseas.  Italy will never know the magic of discount mail order as long as their postal system is staffed by turtles.

You could make a horror movie (It Came From Wal-Mart) here.

Not that I’m complaining. My mother asked me today if I’m bored. I’m not bored at all. I’m thrilled to be back in America for a few months. I get to work, travel, and see people I miss. I have an Unlimited Phone Plan that I have no idea how to use up because I hardly call anyone, a swimming pool, real bacon (we don’t have that in Italy) and my darling 100 year old grandmother who can still dance.

Even my trip here was amazing. Lufthansa made a 27 hour flight to Florida easy, comfortable and gave me free coffee in Munich. My friend Carissa, whom I haven’t seen since high school, drove 4 hours to hang out with me in Chicago and talk with me all night until my ass early flight out of town. I stayed with my Uncle outside of Orlando, where we were able to reminisce about my childhood, and his unbelievable escapades working for the Space Program and literally putting our family name on the moon. He even packed me a snack lunch for my 4 hour drive to my Mom’s.  And get this – when I returned my rental car a couple at the counter offered to drive me to my Mother’s house saving me $50 on a cab.

So even if it rains everyday and the tomatoes taste like cardboard, even if the Wal-Martians have the run of the place and pasta is 3x the cost, – it’s pretty good to be here.

I’m grateful that I have a family that wants me around. I’m grateful I have a girlfriend back in Italy that misses me. I’m grateful that I have the means to work, save, and visit for a few months before being back in school.

I’ll have some smarty pants thing to say next week, or in a few days, or whenever. The pace of the blue hairs makes Italians look busy. Plus it’s damn near 100 degrees everyday, and my Grandma still wears a hat- that she knits herself.

Wherever you are, and why ever you’re there- gratitude makes it better.

See you all in NYC & LA in Sept.

B

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