… It’s 10.30pm and you’re still deciding where to go for dinner.
… It’s May but you’re still wearing stockings and closed shoes and a jacket because otherwise signore will look at you and shriek “troppo estivo!!”
… Instead of responding with real words your reaction to anything in life can be communicated with the elegant concision of either ‘Mah!’, ‘Beh!’ or ‘Boh!’
… Your friends ask you what you’re doing Saturday night at 8pm and you reply: “It’s too early to say. Ti faccio sapere piu’ tardi.”
… You ask other expats if they’d like to ‘take a coffee’, ‘go to the sea’, ‘take sun’ and when they ask you your age you say ‘I have __ years’.
… You type ‘hahaha’ as ‘ahahah’ and go from sounding like a normal human being laughing to a hyperventilating aroused maniac.
… You freak out when family comes to stay and after dinner they order coffee AT THE SAME TIME as the dessert.
… You know all the words to ‘Com’è bello far l’amore da Trieste in giù’.
… 4am coming out of a discoteca your tastebuds are ready for a carb hit of pizza and/or fresh baked croissants.
… You’re sweating like a pig and standing beside a pool but you feel that there’s a strong possibility you might die from hypothermia if you dipped your toe in.
… It’s Sunday, after 8pm, there’s a strike and it’s a national holiday – but your pantry is fully stocked because you ain’t no ‘what-do-you-mean-all-the-supermarkets-are-closed?’ straniero.
… Your freezer is jammed with homemade lasagna, eggplant parmigiana and pasta sauces all neatly labeled and individually packed by your boyfriend’s/girlfriend’s/flatmate’s long-suffering mamma.
… You forget what a coffee plunger looks like.
… You forget what a kettle is used for.
… Your heart rate doesn’t even waver when you take your 8th coffee for the day… at 11am.
… You start thinking that the weird green stuff they call avocado sold in a jar at Despar might be a dignified substitute for guacamole.
… You write text messages like: “Nn sn pronta. X te va bene + tardi? Tvb. Baci.”
… You’re coming around to the concept of drinking without throwing up at the end of the night.
… There’s a public holiday Tuesday and you decide you really should take Wednesday, Thursday, Friday off too… you know, because the ‘ponte‘ just makes sense.
… You own a knee-length puffy jacket that makes you look like a moon-walking snowman.
… You’ve stopped asking “where is everyone?” when there’s a partita.
… You’ve started spelling ALL English words phonetically.
… You know that ‘aperitivo‘ means you can skip dinner.
… You know that cacio e pepe is so much more than cheese and pepper pasta.
… You eat a pizza ‘back home’ and get upset about how many toppings it’s laden with.
… You’ve started believing Nutella is a food group.
… You’ve arrived at a dinner party an hour late and you feel rude because the hosts may not be ready.
… You feel you might be a bad person for walking home in your gym clothes.
… It’s 35 degrees outside but you’re concerned bad things will happen to you and your loved ones if you leave the house with slightly damp hair.
… You’re starting to believe a cream-filled glazed pastry really might be a nutritious breakfast.
… You can’t handle mozzarella if it’s not from a buffalo.
… You go to a beach and can’t emotionally deal with putting a towel ON THE SAND for free.
… You know that nice old man who could be your grandfather still thinks he’s got a chance with you.
… You’ve stopped sending out your CV and going to interviews and started attending more aperitivi as a legitimate career tactic.
… You’ve stopped asking what someone does for a living because you know there’s a 98% chance they’re an ‘avvocato’.
… You finish conversations with friends and family back home by saying you want to give them a ‘smack’, ‘a strong hug’ or ‘a fat kiss’.
… You’re out at 2am on a Sunday night and you don’t ask anyone “Don’t you all have to work tomorrow?”