Culture Shock?

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 24 September 2010 at 14:59

I've started to notice a lot that there are many, many strange little words that get thrown around here, and I've yet to master them completely. I figure, since my day is being wasted so as I don't spend any more money unnecessarily, I'd let you know a few of them:

  • When answering the phone, I have a habit of saying Ciao or Sì? - in fact, I should be shouting Pronto!
  • When saying hello, there are more ways than just Buongiorno/Buonasera and Ciao. Apparently Salve works just as well.
  • When saying goodbye, there are many ways around it: Arrivederci, Ciao, A presto. In the mornings, I can use Buona giornata and in the evenings Buona serata. Apparently, I can also use Buon lavoro, though I really don't feel comfortable with it just yet.
  • When holding doors, it's customary to say Prego to let someone know they may come past first. But you also use Prego to mean "You're welcome", or even as a way of saying "May I...?" (I assume) as a train conductor.
  • If you want to enter a place, it's Permesso?, but if you want to sit down, it's Posso?
As a "point of note" - I just noticed that there were rules posted in my room. New rules. The old ones were things like "No guests after 1am" "Please respect silence after 11pm". Now, there are fire regulations, and "bans". I actually love the bans:
  • Smoking is forbidden (Okay. Makes sense)
  • Use of electric stoves is forbidden (A maltraduzione perhaps? Or do they mean camping stoves?)
  • Use of electric heaters is forbidden (Wait...does that include the one on the wall here...)
  • to bring furnishings other than those provided by the residence (pillows, blankets, bedspreads) is forbidden. (Wait!? What!? I brought my own bedspread and pillows. Admittedly, I'm only using the pillow, because I prefer having 2 to having, am I breaking a rule? Methinks the answer is yes!)
And on that bombshell...I'm off to find something to do today! To keep you going until something exciting happens, here is an exciting picture:


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