Last night in Naples ... leaving tomorrow.

(What will I miss and will I not miss?)


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Okay, so I changed my mind.  

This entry comes as I sit on the porch of temporary lodging at the Navy base's "support site."  I still think it needs a freakin' name.  Lord knows there have been enough men and women, both U.S. and Italian who have lost their lives in support of this "support site" that someone should be able to figure out how to name the damned place after one of them without *too* many people complaining about it ... but I digress.  I do that.

I will miss:

'Controlled anarchy.'  The driving, the different way that you 'stand in line' here, the pace things move (both slow and fast, depending whether you're referring to service in a particular restaraunt or the left lane on any particular highway).  It's kinda like a freedom that doesn't exist in many other places.  Things run pretty well.  Well, things run *very* well.  Sure there are always things to complain about.  There are things to complain about *any* where; but it seems that there usually easier (even legal, if you so choose) ways to take care of things that annoy you here.

I will miss many of those whom I have met and worked with.

I will not miss many of those whom I have had to work with.

I will miss random fireworks on random nights at random times for random reasons.

I will not miss fireworks when they are outside my bedroom window being launched by a neighbor at 0200 on a weeknight because it's somebody's birthday ... or some other random occasion.

I will miss the New Year's Eve fireworks especially.

I will miss being able to ignore many of the conversations going on around me, because it's too hard to try and translate them if I want to listen to what's being said instead of nodding and smiling.

I am nervous about returning to The Colonies and being able to understand everything that's said ... running the risk of wanting reply to a conversation of which I am not a part.  

... although I am told that many of those are now in languages I do not understand anyway, so maybe that won't be a problem.

I will miss getting lost while driving because the roads aren't marked very well, but then becoming better at knowing where I'm going.

I will not miss the price of diesel/gasoline because I forgot to have enough 'NATO coupons' with me on said occasions when I got lost because the roads aren't marked very well.

I will miss the type of Americans who choose to come here because they want to experience the cultural differences.  It's enjoyable to hear their stories of adventures to various places that even I had not yet been.

I will not miss the type of Americans who, when they realize they made a mistake and should have stayed put feel the need to share with everyone their stories about how miserable their lives are because their landlord or neighbors don't speak English.  Or people like the lady whose "fur babies" ate fruit that had fallen from trees in her back yard (that would make any dog sick if they at them) and then took to the internet to tell everyone about how nasty Italians are because they threw poisoned fruit over the fence because they didn't like her fur babies barking at all hours of the night when left outside ... unsheltered from the elements.  I'll leave that one alone or I'll do that "digress" thing again.

I will miss the fact that Italian people, more than most Americans I remember, know when it's important to work hard, and when to play hard ... and when to rest.  They have a sense of priorities I tend to identify with.  Many of the things that are important to your average American are definitely not important to your average Italian ... and vicey versey, I s'pose.

I will miss the food.

I will not miss the seafood.

I don't like seafood.

Shut up.  Yes.  I realize I have lived in Naples for 13 years and it's located pretty much along the seaside and everybody but everybody here likes seafood.  I don't.  Leave me alone.

Most of all, I will miss Italy.  The whole thing.  The people and everything about them; what they think, how they think, what they eat how they eat, what they play and how they play.

Fortunately, we will be coming back.

It will be interesting to see if I am motivated at somepoint in the future to compare the US and Italy ... I can't say too much about the former at the moment cuz I haven't really been there often enough or long enough to know anything except that the roads are too big and the speed limits are too low.