I Will Run to You.
SomeoneLikeYou Wednesday, September 3, 2014
White Dress: Delia's.
Green Blouse: Forever21.
Crystal Necklace: Thrifted.
Tan Sandals: TJMaxx.
Hello everyone ♥
Parts of living in a foreign country are definitely proving to be difficult even two weeks in. I stressed and worried before the trip what these issues could be and the possible solutions I could come up to fix these made up in my mind scenarios. The truth is...you truly can't prepare for the difficulties and challenges that arise. You just have to take them as you go.
One thing I've found very difficult in dealing with while here is being an American. You all are thinking, "well, DUH, Lauren..., you are an American living in Italy, of course it's going to be hard." But it's hard in ways I didn't expect I guess. I've found, from my personal experiences here in Florence that Italians do not like Americans and have unfortunately been very rude, mean, and impatient with me. In no way am I generalizing that all Italians are this way AT ALL and I don't want any Italian readers taking offense to me saying that you are rude, because that's certainly not true. Just like I am not the rude, haughty, drunk American that Italians sometimes make me out to be. These are just impressions I have gotten from experiences I've had with Italians, but it does not mean you all are like that! There have, of course, been Italians who are very friendly and warm, welcoming, like the stereotype I heard before coming here. But a majority of the time, unfortunately, I am slighted once they find out I am American because they have these notions on what I am like because of previous Americans they have interacted with or what they see in the media. Not only Italians, but I find that Europeans as a whole, from a few different experiences, don't like Americans and tend to treat me poorly, unfortunately.
I can't blame them really though. I see how some American students from all sorts of colleges studying here act and it makes me embarrassed to be an American sometimes. I see why there is such this disapproval of us in their nation because Americans can be so disrespectful and act entitled. But I don't feel like that's a reason to generalize us all and become impatient and mean with me just because I can't speak the language fluently. I'm trying, I'm putting effort in...but it gets tiring and very discouraging day in and day out being spoken harshly to, looked at disapprovingly, or plain out just being treated unfairly.
It does put a lot in perspective for me though. In the US you don't run into non English speaking people too often, but in Aero I have a lot of Latinos come in to buy clothing and they usually speak entirely Spanish. There have been times I have been frustrated that these people didn't speak English and therefore, I couldn't help them. I know more than once I've thought, admittedly, "why didn't they learn English before they came? Why aren't they learning it now?" I've never treated them BADLY because they couldn't speak English, but it certainly frustrated me and I couldn't empathize with them. With this study abroad experience though, now I certainly can. I realize how hard these people are trying...how embarrassing and frustrating it must be to not be able to communicate simple things like "how much is this? I want to try this on?" And I'm sure most sales associates in general aren't usually as nice about it as I am, and I know I have been frustrated at times.
Humans are humans. Whether we are American. Italian. Mexican. We all have feelings, we all are just trying to live in this world and do the best we can. It makes me sad that we all can't get along better...be a little more patient, a little more loving. Have a smile go a little further, a little more patience, a lot more respect for others. It's been a hard learning experience to be looked down upon because of my nationality because it's never happened to me and in a way, I'm glad it has happened because it's really allowed me to open my eyes up to seeing how to better treat others and serve Him to the best of my ability through my actions and words. x
With much love, Lauren.