English ONLY... Italian folks: it's easy to understand :-)
So, today that the weather is pretty crappy (cloudy and always ready to rain with just 15°) and it’s not so inspiring to go somewhere, I decided to complete my update with all the differences that I was able to notice in two months and half between Canada (specifically British Columbia) and Italy (Northern Italy and specifically my town). Of course I’ll forget someone of them but isn’t so easy remember all of them!!
1. Smoking: It’s FORBIDDEN everywhere. In all the public places, in front of the buildings for 6 meters in both directions, it’s FORBIDDEN show the cigarettes in the shops and the packets have shocking images on them! For me it’s wonderful that is forbidden everywhere and other than this, it seems that almost no one over here smokes. In Italy is forbidden but in a different way; it's not for example in front of the buildings... Packets of cigarettes are freely displayed on racks inside shops and on them there are not shocking images, only written advices.
2. Prices: It's ABSURD that the taxes are not included in the displayed prices. This is ridiculous! I understand that every province and territory has a different tax system but is unbelievable that I never know the final price when I buy something and I always think that they’re trying to ripping me off!
3. Supermarkets: a lot of really small places. A lot of small groceries stores like 7th Eleven (the same pretty much of the Kiwi Mart in The Simpsons), thing that doesn’t exist in Italy. At least in my town all the old small grocery stores closes in the mid 90s after the supermarkets invasion.
4. Price and size of products: Bottled water costs less than soft drinks! You can’t find bottles smaller than 2 litres and chips packages smaller than 200 grams!
5. Clothes: They don't care so much about their outfits and they don't have a good taste, at least most of them (Personal opionion). We certainly dress better in Italy. About the girls: is possible see a lot with really short miniskirts (is nice for me LOL) high heels and platform shoes (that’s great too LOL!!) hironically a lot of them is really uncomfortable to walk with.. often someone of them looks almost naked. In Italy it doesn’t happen so usually for different reasons: fear of rapes and catholic education.
6. Starbucks: the most horrible place ever seen. I don’t drink coffee but I tried this one once. I’ll never do that again! It’s.. oh my God..it's just NOT COFFEE! And then..what the fuck is a FRAPPUCCINO??What the fuck is that?? And smth other like coffee with ice is so weird LOL.. And most of all, people strolling around with these plastic glasses or canteens (they call them travel mugs but are canteens!) full of hot coffee when outside is 25°, well.. are simply ridiculous! Ok, here it’s normal but in Italy it will NEVER happen! LUCKILY! Then, their policy: 4 Starbucks on one street! For what fucking reason u need 4 of them on every corner?
7. Mobile Phones: seems that everyone has an Iphone or a Blackberry, they’re so widespread!
I really have seen just a few Nokia. Probably this depends from the fact that 99% of Canadians have a contract (1,2,3 years) with a phone provider. In Italy as we know this is really rare. Everyone has just a prepaid sim card. Here the opposite.
8. Postmen: they walk and they even wear shorts. I’ve not direct experiences with Canada Post until now so I can just tell what I saw. In Italy u can see them with a moped or a bicycle and never with shorts, here besides the trail trucks and the lorries they just walk.
9. Dogs: if they “shit” somewhere the owner picks up what is left and throws it away otherwise u could be fined for 2000 $. In Italy, I’ve seen that I think twice in my whole life.
10. Parking Meters: in Italy u put the coins in and u get a receipt with the time left. Here instead u park aside them and on a screen appears the time left.
11. Fines: Traffic police patrols the streets and carrying a PDA and a printer to print out the fine. In Italy they still do that with paper. When they have to tow a car they really do, I’ve seen that at home a couple of times. Here u don’t see cars parked almost one over the other, something that u can see back in Italy.
12. Constructions sites: everyone wears an helmet and a security vest. There are signs that don’t leave nothing to the imagination: No boots, no hardhat, no orientation.. NO WORK! I think that I don’t have to tell how is the situation back home! Beside this, girls work in constructions sites. It doesn’t happen in Italy like I already said.
13. Cyclists: 95% of them wears an helmet. Besides some amateur runner no one does that in Italy.
14. Buses and public transports: everyone pays the ticket. I don’t know if that happens cause practically u are forced to since u have to get in the bus by the front door and show your subscription or validate your ticket in front of the driver. At home..well.. I think 80 % get a ride without pay! The bus drivers are more like clowns :-D : they often interact with the passengers “ Hey Folks..how’re u? Look what we have here today..” and stuff like that!
15. Streets: here everything is with blocks. U don’t tell your address.. u just tell, let’s say: Homer with Robson that means the intersection between two different streets. Every block look the same. U can feel that these cities have been planned. In Italy they grew along centuries.
16. Houses: they cost a lot less than Italy but they’re wood made. In Italy is all concrete and bricks.
17. Alcohol: you can’t buy boozes in supermarkets but only in dedicated stores. Kind of absurd.
18. Subway (Skytrain): is automatic, no driver. In Milan and Rome still human manned but in Turin is automatic
19. Recycling: you get paid if you bring back to some dedicated place, cans and plastic bottles. In this way they give a work to the homeless people. In Italy nothing like that happens. No one gets paid.
20. Cars: the only European brands u see around are: BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Mini and Mercedes. Nothing else. It's plenty of Japanese and Korean cars beside obvioulsy American Brands (Pontiac, Ford, GMC)
This is what I noticed until now. A lot of them I just remember by myself, someone other, thanks Wiebke..I copied them from your blog :-D! I’ll surely see someone else in the next months!