by Melinda Gallo

I forgot...

It's funny that after living in Italy for a year that I forgot many things about the differences between the Bay Area in California and Florence. We were up in San Francisco for a conference and forgot many aspects that actually seem normal to us now that are very different from the US.

In restaurants, I forgot how people tell you their name, list off the specials, and give you lots of eye contact when handing you the bill. I forgot how the wait staff come by to ask you how your meal is and if you want anything else while you're eating.

In shops, I forgot how easy it is to return something if you don't want it. I forgot that you can get your money back for anything that you purchase (especially if you don't open the package...and even if you do). In Italy, generally you can exchange an item, but money is almost never returned to you.

I miss being in Italy although it's great to be back in California as well. I love many things in the US and I'm taking full advantage of my time here to indulge myself. It's especially great to see family and friends. It feels as if no time has passed and yet an entire year has gone by since we were last here.

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