Spoiled By America: Why Living In Italy Makes You Appreciate the United States
Hi my name is Anastasiya and I made a huge change in my life by moving from the United States of America to Italy, after having lived there for 24 years. Since having moved to Italy in November 2018, everything has been a cultural shock. While getting to know the culture and language, as well as the food ;), I thought I would love this country as much as I do America. But quickly, I started to spot the differences.
I never really appreciated how lucky I was to live in the USA. I never appreciated how “easy” it was to get around, to make friends, to rent an apartment, to build a house, to build a company. By saying “easy”, of course, none of these things are super easy to do, but they can be done under the right circumstances. But here, in Italy, it’s just a shit-fest of disappointments. It’s not to say there aren’t amazing, wonderful things here (which I will talk about in another post, but you guys have to hear me out).
Part I: The House Incident
So let me start to explain to you all what I mean. Here is just one story. My parents are building a house here in Italy. A year ago, them and their architect hired a contractor to build the house for them, as he came recommended. After a year, the house was barely built, and the money that my parents had given to this contractor by means of “prepayment” in order for him to buy all the supplies and components for the house, had suddenly vanished. The contractor had no proof of invoices on what he did and was suddenly demanding more money. My parents and their architect decided there was no way in hell that they would give this man more money. So, what did he do? He threatened to come and hurt all of us, unless we gave him more money. He put his “henchmen” outside the architect’s office every day, he sent other henchmen to my parent’s office where they work, this contractor himself -came and rang the doorbell of my parent’s house numerous times, demanding for money.
Of course after this whole fiasco, missing money and verbal harassment, there was one thing to do: file a police report. After getting an attorney, filing the police reports against this man, and also filing for a restraining order, you’d think that would be the end of it. But man, oh, man, this didn’t do absolutely anything.
The contractor continued to pay visits to the house my parents were building and would cut off our locks that we put on the gate to keep them out, as he was no longer supposed to be on the property. He probably came by and cut like 6 locks at that point, and we even called the police. What did they say? They can’t do anything about it. This man continued to create more chaos as he drove by the house one day that the architect was there and threw a rock at her car window, shattering it completely (wow, thank god that no one inside that car). The police was called again. What did they do? Nothing.
But if that’s not enough, let’s continue this story. One random day, the contractor and his henchmen broke into this house, and they started to take off the whole roof of the house, and my mom had just arrived in time to stop them from taking down the whole house. The police was called. What did they do? Nothing.
Again, more locks cut down, more time wasted, no actions taken. Fast forward another week, my mother was at that house doing some gardening, preparing the outside of the new house so that it was ready for Spring weather. The contractor at this point, stopped by the house again while she was there. My mother approached him as she saw him trying to get into the gate and told him that he was not allowed on the premises, that he could not be there. The contractor pushed her. He touched my mother, he pushed her and forced his way onto their property. A simple American, breaking and enter case, as well as physical harassment. The police was called. What did they do? Nothing. Not to mention- there was a neighbour who witnessed this, and confirmed the story. Nothing.
Then finally, one more situation the day right after that day happened. This time, the contractor called the police on my mom. My mom was at her property, her house, and THIS MAN, called the police on her, saying she wasn’t allowed to be on the property and its his construction. So what did the police do this time? They came to the house and they said that they don’t know who is telling the truth- my mother or this man. They didn’t check their system- even though we had numerous reports filed on this man. They didn’t even want to talk to my dad, the architect, nor the attorney we had on file. On top of that, they illegally took my mom’s driver’s license and passport because guess what? The contractor told the police that my mom had an illegal license and wasn’t supposed to be driving. Of course, after they checked their system on the license, they saw everything was okay and legitimate as she had a legal California license and American Passport. After this, they finally talked to our attorney after the attorney said if you don’t talk to me, then you will have to deal with the prosecutor, a sure way to get the police to finally talk to her. After talking to the attorney, the police found out that the contractor was the one lying and at the end of the day, after all of this, what did they do? Nothing. They left.
So here we are folks, that’s just one story about how everything is just so messed up. I mean, if any of this happened in the States, this man would have been arrested already. But here, I’m not even sure that if you get hit by a car, if you can have any justice.
Part II Arriving in a Different Post.. Part II will talk about what its like to have a business here in Italy.