Ways of life and thinking can be wildly different between countries and, having met a lot of F’s family, quite a few things that differ between the Italian and the Australian culture have become only too evident to me. I’ve written before about differences in food, particularly the sizes of portions, but now I am going to focus on a different aspect.
Weight. Italian people (in my experience) treat it like it is the Australian equivalent of weather – a perfectly acceptable topic of conversation.
I’m not sure if it’s because Australians are typically on the larger side or whether we are just more conservative and politically correct, but Australian people tend to shy away from the topic of weight. We stick to the topics that can’t be taken the wrong way, avoiding offence and maximising enjoyment.
“How about this bloody weather?” can be heard in Australia rather more frequently than “Well then, you look like you’ve put on a few pounds since I last saw you,” that much is certain.
If a shirt ever described the Australian mentality on weight, this would be it:
The first time I went to Italy, I couldn’t understand more than a few words here and there. The second time, though, was rather a different story. Perhaps also because they had a comparison point to work from, but whatever the reason, my weight became a lively topic of conversation. Continue reading