St. Luca's Basilica atop Bologna's hills

Cobbled streets, medieval buildings, red roofs are the trademarks of the city I grew up in, Bologna, and it’s hard to find some commonality with the sprawling metropolis I live in now. Funny thing is, I started catching myself noticing little telltale signs I have become a fully fledged Angeleno, for better or worse, and I have fallen into habits and thought patterns I would never have considered possible when I left Italy or London.

  1. Despite the miles I clock walking the dogs twice a day and hiking whenever possible, I wouldn’t dream of walking two blocks anywhere in the city or taking public transportation that, I am told, has immensely improved of late. I will move the car from parking meter to parking meter, to step into a store or a restaurant or wherever else. Just because.
  2. I briefly entertained the idea of Botox and fillers – then I decided not to add another expressionless mug to the mix.
  3. I can rattle off names of grains unknown to me 17 years ago and I will think nothing of adding Spirulina to my morning shake. Cappuccino and croissant are such a thing of my European past.
  4. I will insist on adding Stevia to my coffee instead of sugar, whipping it out of my bag when the occasion presents itself – never mind the sugar laden slice of pie that accompanies the coffee. At least I am still able to notice the incongruity.
  5. I regard a yearly cleanse as my civic duty.
  6. My social life is accurately planned around times of day, geographical locations and traffic patterns. I religiously listen to the traffic report and the traffic app on my phone is one of the most used.
  7. Spanish hasn’t exactly become my second language but, considering it wasn’t a language I spoke at all when I first came, now I can understand it and I can make myself be understood. Having learnt it mainly in the kitchen, I am sure I intermingle Mexican, Colombian and Salvadoran slangs without even realizing it.
  8. Should I feel the urge or need to visit a place that gets real snow blizzards in winter, I literally don’t have anything to wear.
  9. A mild earthquake will not get me out of bed.
  10. Coyotes, rattlesnakes, tarantulas and possums are my favourite neighbours.

One sign my Italian roots are still alive and kicking: I would not be caught dead wearing a track suit other than at the gym’s.

From MOCA Graffitit's exhibit


1 Comment

Filed under humor, humour, Los Angeles, the expat life


  1. Malou Prestado

    Ha, ha, ha! I love this blog. We can go places but it is still important to remain true to who and what we are.

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