Before I studied in Netherlands, Pierluigi Collina was the only Italian I knew who is from Bologna. Now I have more chances to communicate with different Italians. Last Sunday, Simone, an Italian from Bologna, invited me to visit his home at Droevendaal 99.
Droevendaal 99? Sounds so familiar, right? I bet some of you went there for the famous party 'Heaven & Hell'. But this is not my party memoir, today I'm going to tell you something about an Italian living there.
Simone, like a typical Italian, has a Roman nose and brown wavy hair. Droevendaal is his third home since he started to study here last December. 'I love Droevendaal. Here I can talk to different people, learn from different cultures,' he looked like he was getting on well with his other five house mates from Peru, Colombia and Netherlands. That's also the reason he invited me over to take a coffee; somehow he got interested in Chinese culture.
On Friday night two weeks ago, we met each other at an Italian party and had a fantastic midnight chat with another Italian and two Czech girls. 'You don't look like a typical Chinese,' they agreed that night. Maybe it triggered Simone to learn more about me and, as I'm curious about everything, that's a win-win dialogue.
From cuisine to politics, from health care system to football, one day was too short to cover everything between two old countries. But it's long enough to find quite a lot of common ground.
'I skype with my parents every weekend,' Simone said. 'Don't you find sometimes we just have nothing to talk about with them?' I ask. 'Not really, just to let them hear my voice is enough,' his answer surprised me: Chinese and Italian even share some essential value of family.
When we talked about social communication, I taught him a Chinese word "GUANXI" by using Mafia as an analogy. He noted down the word like discovering a new continent. A few minutes later we jumped to a related topic about bribery and corruption. Maybe you will feel shocked: both of us admitted it's just human and a part of our cultures. When you're in, you're in, 'you don't feel very uncomfortable or wrong'. I agreed with his words.
We also discussed the 'lost generation'. Compared with the Italian youngsters he described, Chinese peers appear to be more positive and ambitious; however difficult life is after graduation, we still have the guts to go for a better life.
Our talk seemed a bit disordered and incoherent, but for me, it's efficient enough to learn from a new culture. Thank to Simone, now I know Italians are more than a group of lady killers. Look forwards to our dialogue II some other day. Grazie and arrivederci! ^_^
Simone Leoni is an Eramus student, his program will finish in the end of May.