more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday
When I met Mr. G. my personal Italian, I had no idea about their way of life. The only thing I knew was that if you put one Italian in a street (outside his country of course) he is suddenly surrounded by another 100 (maybe that's a little exaggerated, but still) talking all together at the same time. While other nationalities avoid each other during holidays, Italians keep a watchful eye and ear on the whole beach or in the hotel to find at least one compatriot. Mostly there are a lot more and of course the next day we will sit all together on the beach in ONE group. This had always been like that since we married 43 years ago. From the States to Egypt, we always found Italians.
We need an Electrician ? no problem one Italian always knows another one who has a cousin or an uncle who is electrician. I needed a window cleaner, and got one through an Italian friend who knew a friend whose cousin owned a window cleaner company so I immediately had my window cleaner.
There is a very big Italian community in Belgium, because 3 generations ago, they were "imported" from Italy to work in the Belgian coal mines. Most of them stayed until their pension and then only went back to Italy. The children and grandchildren often don't speak Italian anymore or only a little they stayed here and became Belgians, but in their hearts they all remain Italians.
Even our prime Minister Elio di Rupo, is of Italian origin his father arrived in Belgium in 1947 to work in the coal mines. Elio was born in Belgium, and his mother was illiterated and had to raise 7 children, he only spoke Italian until he went to school. What an amazing carreer he has made !
Elio di Rupo
When Mr. G. took me to Italy for the very first time to meet his family, I was sick when we came back. I wasn't used to such a great hospitality. I had to eat all the specialities of all female relatives, drink the wine of all male relatives and if I said I have enough, they filled my plate and glass again ! Wherever we went and whatever was the time, in a second the table was full of delicious food and it would have been unpolite not to eat ! I also wasn't used to the noise ! Sitting all together at a big table everybody talked and talked, nobody listened and I was sitting in the middle to try to understand what they all said. I also learned that Italians never learn to whisper, which apparently doesn't disturb the babies, they are used to, since sitting in Mamma's womb.
In a Hospital everybody shouts his miseries to everybody, there are no whispers to not disturb the patients. The same happened to me while I was in a waiting room, where at home everybody whispers or doesn't talk at all, there I learned the family histories and diseases from all present persons, shouting at each other, also mostly at the same time.
Now that I am used to this and it doesn't bother me anymore, Mr. G. gets crazy when they all shout together ! That's probably why he didn't want to return to Italy when he retired, he finds it too noisy. And then he has all his Italian friends here. When he goes shopping on the market each Sunday morning, he has his meeting point at the stall of Carmelo ! Carmelo sells all Italian specialities and all Italians are gathered around his stall and discuss. That's there where Mr. G. gets all the useful adresses I mentioned above. Even, our banker turned out to be of Italian origin and was so happy to meet us, and my hairdresser too is the grand daughter of an Italian imigrant !
So he has his little Italy just in Waterloo, the only thing he never learned is to whisper ! Everybody in the street knows our first names thanks to his opera voice when he calls us from the street !
the way I eat spaghettis !