The most perplexing question we have been asked after our move to Italy
Here's the question: 'do you miss it'?
The 'it' is usually:
- living in a big city like Dubai; or
- working in a corporate job full-time; or
- our 'old life' in its entirety.
In short, no.
In long, no and a little bit of yes.
Is there ever a simple answer to the question do you miss the life you had for the last 25 years which you then gave up to move half-way across the world to do something completely different, in a language that isn't your native tongue, whilst having the audacity to think it will all work out? This one is rhetorical by the way.
In our old life
we lived in a metropolis of 3 million people and 200 nationalities
our home was in the middle of the city
we drove our car pretty much everywhere
we shopped in malls
our daily coffee was at Starbucks
we could order pretty much every product and service through an app on our phones
we paid way too much for food and wine
the bureaucracy was sometimes a challenge
we didn't know our neighbours
technology was used everywhere to make things more efficient
we did our weekly shop at a big supermarket
the sun shone almost everyday
we were usually breathing in re-circulated A/C air
there was hardly ever an insect or animal (other than of course the domesticated variety) in sight; and
if we needed help with any aspect of our lives, it was available 24/7.
In our new life
we live in a town of around 14,000 people and 15 nationalities
our home is in the countryside on a white (unpaved) road
we still drive our cars everywhere
we shop mainly in small family-owned stores
our daily coffee is usually in the garden or accompanied by a chat at our local 'bar' (at the counter)
we can order pretty much every product online, but usually only on Amazon
we pay way too little for amazing food and wine
the bureaucracy is almost always a challenge
everywhere we go we are known by our first names (or some variation thereof)
a conversation is preferred over technology
we do our weekly shop at a farmers' market
the sun may or may not shine but we breathe in fresh air every day
there is every possible insect and wild animal at our doorstep - and often beyond the doorstep - (including of course the domesticated variety); and
if we need help with any aspect of our lives, it may or may not be available depending on whether there is a new government-provided Covid incentive payment on the horizon.
That was exhausting.
So now you know why we usually respond with a 'Boh!' (Dunno!) complete with some very Italian shoulder shrugging when asked 'do you miss it?'.
Paari & Niall