Sunday, March 9, 2008
The Fonz or Raoul Bova...Stereotypically Italian? -Part 1
(Still laughing after two days) I went back to work on Friday despite the fact that I sounded like a toad and was half-dead, much better than staying in the house. I "bravely" faced my pre-school beasts armed with "Home Alone" in Italian. The teacher was so happy to see me and have an hour break that she whipped that dvd player right out and went on her way. My middle school group...they killed me once again. This is how the scene went down...
Simone asks, "Jodi, what does 'Sexy' mean?" See, now that question kind of confused me because "sexy" is the same thing in Italian as it is in English. The other two in the group looked at him like he was crazy and it got worse, because the question was loaded. He's the one in the first year of high school and just got his motor scooter that he's obsessed with, that and girls. Apparently, he would like to put a sticker with the word "SEXY" on his motor scooter. Unacceptable. Tattooing the word "Sexy" on a motorbike is completely Anti-Sexy and NO student of mine will ever be considered UnSexy.
I tried to explain to him that a "sexy" person does not wear the word "sexy" across her chest. It's a question of ATTITUDE. "Sexy" is a label that OTHERS give YOU, you don't give it to yourself. I told him it was VERY cheesy. (do people still use that word? I've been out of the loop for so long...)
Try to explain "Cheesy" to Italians. When they say something in English, incorrectly, like when they use double negatives, I tell them they sound like 50 Cent...they "get" that. But "Cheesy" is Anti-Italian.
*This is Cheesy*
*This is a typical Italian woman* (Note: I'm not kidding, they ALL look like this here)
*And SHE (The Italian Vanna White) is the closest thing to "Cheesy" that you will ever find in Italy* (Note: SHE was imported from Canada)
Italians are a stylin' population, contrary to American stereotypes of Italians. This is so complicated to explain without visuals, so here you go:
*American stereotype of an Italian guy*
*Real Live Italian Guy*
JUST KIDDING!! This is more like it... I will say that in eleven years of living in Italy, I may have looked twice at about ten men...too thin and femmy for me. I am definitely in the right place.
When I tried to explain these stereotypes of the typical Italian guy to Perla, her mouth dropped to the floor. She also couldn't understand the concept of "Cheesy," just doesn't happen here.
However, teenagers walk around wearing this t-shirt (Sofia will NEVER walk around town in one of these):
Simone wanted to stick it on his motorbike. He said, "Well, Valentino Rossi wears WLF on his gear!" I said, "What is WLF?" The three were somewhat embarrassed for all of three seconds and then, excited to teach ME something, said,"Viva la Fica!" Of course, you know the next question out of their mouths was, "How do you say that in English?" I said, "NOPE, not this time, kids." A professional English teacher has to draw the line somewhere! WLF means LLP...you figure it out...cause I ain't going there with y'all either.
Have a great Sunday!