Sicily, how rude!




This past week I’ve had several reminders why I’m such an unwilling expat. Random encounters with rude and ignorant people who in their defensiveness are hurtful. 


Living in small town Sicily every time I open my mouth it is painfully obvious that I am a foreigner ( here they don’t say, what a lovely accent, it’s oh you’re a foreigner, as if they are saying a dirty word) and quite frankly I’m tired of it.


After years of speaking Italian I have a certain level of fluency, I think hey I’ve taken the time to learn your language, the least you can do is compliment me for trying, instead of pointing out my difference.




Recently my son has started preschool and I wanted to volunteer some of my time to help out, stupidly following the Australian model. I thought being a mother tongue english speaker would be a wonderful advantage, apparently not.


It became blindingly obvious the teachers simply want you to drop off your child and leave them to do their job. When I said I’d be happy to do some english games with the children I was told a maximum of an hour of english a week for five year olds was all that was foreseen by the law and that all their time was programmed. 


When I asked about the younger children, nothing can be programmed for them, they are too little to learn. I was gobsmacked . That’s hardly anything and younger children can learn so much more. I was shown a work book and that was it. From what I see nothing is programmed other than free play, sitting at the tables, and some craft activities. I don’t even see any books, no story time, show and tell, nothing. I only see a little interaction between the children. What bullocks!


Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook know that I’ve been struggling through two lengthy science jargon filled translations over the past week. I sent the first part of the second translation and mentioned my eventual payment details, I was curtly told my translations weren’t any good and my services were no longer needed. So my work was fine until he had to pay me. How insulting . I’m angry at the time I wasted, I could have dedicated my efforts to things I actually enjoy like, writing, blogging and playing with my child.


It’s times like these that make me lose faith in expat life, too much culture shock.


Unwilling Expat


10 thoughts on “Sicily, how rude!

  1. That really sucks. Everyone wants something for nothing. Everyone wants to improve their English until they actually have to pay for it. You’re certainly not alone! And it’s the school’s loss. (But also the kids’ which is a real shame)


  2. No wonder you’re angry, I would have been fuming!

    The teaching of English in Italian schools is ridiculous. Our friend’s daughter is 12 and has just switched from an international school to an Italian school. Her English is amazing, almost perfect. She came home in disgust on her first day to report that in her new English class they are learning the numbers up to 20! There is no provision for advanced English speakers so she just has to put up with it.


    1. It’s a real shame. I originally was please to hear they were doing a little english and the other mothers at my son’s preschool said there was a new english teacher. But the lady simply had done a few hours of an english course and spoke with a strange anglo american accent, as soon as I spoke to her in english I saw she was lost. It’s so sad.
      My 13 year old niece has been doing the same things every year. I’d stick to the international schools! I don’t know what I’ll be doing with my nearly fluent english speaking son either go back home to Australia or look to England!?!? Who knows what the future holds. Right now I’m pretty bombed out!


  3. I can imagine how furious you are ! My kids grew up with 4 languages during the day, since they were born! They went to an American school in Holland. Had Dutch lessons everyday, Italian lessons twice a week after school (my husband is Italian )and spoke Brazilian portuguese with me ! Now all of them live and work abroad with the many languages they’ve learned since they’re born !
    Here in Italy is a real problem ! Sorry for you !


    1. Foreign languages are so important they teach you more about your own language, how to express yourself better, other cultures and points of view, it’s all so vital.

      I’m doing my best to continue with english and Italian,with my son I’d love to introduce another language, perhaps an asian one.

      You must be so proud of your kids! It’s good to hear such wonderful success stories such as your own! Thanks for your understanding!


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