Friday, 29 March 2013

Pechakucha Night PGH #14 - How to survive Italians

Here we go, my friends! 
I am very excited to present you my second Pechakucha Night, in Pittsburgh.
The previous time I talked about Bruno Munari, but yesterday night I just wanted to do something fun and it really came out well. I presented a useful guide:
I want to share with you all my 20 slides with the captions I pronounced during the 20-seconds-per-slide. Unfortunately, there are three slides that are easier to understand if you could see/listen to me, in person. Enjoy the other 17! All the graphics -a part from the photos- are sketches of mine.

Booh! (scaring intro)
These Italians...
Buonasera… salve… ciao… come state?! 
This guide is dedicated to all my friends, who survived me even without it. 
And the reason for this guide is simply this…

...over 60 million people. Sharing a boot!
I mean: you have to be creative there to survive.
This guide will be very dense of information, maybe even a bit chaotic - dealing with Italy.
But... that's it: it's Italy!

I will talk about the average Italian, how we are, what you could do in Italy, what you shouldn't do in Italy… and my suggestions are valid if you come to Italy, both for work or vacation. 
I will tell you everything you have to know to survive Italians.
Starting from knowing that..

...we are very scaramantic. Actually, this word doesn't exist in English, but I discovered that only too late. I had already submitted my slides!
It simply means that we are very worried about good luck. I am NOT, but the average is pretty full of rituals and funny good luck charms. 
Many Italians don't want anyone to directly wish them "good luck". It's a bad sign for them.

(the following slide is difficult to follow, since you can't hear me. As soon as the video will be published, you'll understand what I meant)

Italian has a reduced alphabet but the biggest difference comes with vowels pronunciation. 
For example, we go to IKEA, we dress LEVIS, we wash our teeth with COLG-A-TE, after eating at B-U-BBA GUMP.
Plus, we digit

There are some mock Italian dishes in the US, but if you come to Italy, never ask for:  
"Alfredo pasta" (we don't know him) nor "spaghetti with meat balls" (which are very good here).
"Pasta alla Bolognese" is not from Bologna, nor from any other city.
Italian dressing is absolutely prohibited.

If you want to eat well, you should ask for "pasta alla carbonara", "risotto alla milanese", "pasta al rag├╣", "pesto alla genovese", "pizza margherita", "patate al forno". You'll impress the waiters and will eat very well, I promise.

Now spaghetti world: bucatini, in the corner, have the "buco" that means "hole". Then you have the linguine (the flattened spaghetti), the tagliatelle (which is a super flat pasta) and then spaghetti, with different number according to the different thickness.

To digest Italian food, my choice and recommendation is for the sparkling water San Pellegrino. You know it. It's really the Italians' favorite. 
You could be charged twice as a punishment. 
San Pellegrino is the only possible choice to go with Italian food. 

There are some issues I won't touch in this guide. We should need 200 slides for our problems and deficiencies. I am not going to talk about: soccer, lack of civic sense, italian laws, financial crisis, diffuse corruption, very bad stories about politicians...

I am not going to talk about him, even if I know you are curious. I can't talk about him and we are just lucky he's not tall enough to reach the slide. 
I am sorry, that will be another PKN night!

I will talk about Italian provinces. It's fun because some of the American states have the same initials of some Italian cities. (See the slides for the initials)

Up to 10 years ago you could find those initials on our plates. Which are also on the front of the car, because Italian drivers are so dangerous that we should have plates also on the sides. Just to be always recognizable.
Never drive in Italy, if you are not obliged to do that. 
It's a mystical experience, very crazy.

I would like to spend just a slide on the Vespa. There is a little confusion in the US: please note that Vespa is a brand, not a typology of vehicle. 
You can have the old or the new model, but the brand is only one: Vespa.

But instead of driving in Italy, which is just absurd, you'd better watching a little Italian TV - which is fun. We have RAI1 RAI2 RAI3 which are the state TV (we pay a little tax on those).
And then RETE4, CANALE5, ITALIA1, which are Berlusconi's TVs (there is a lot of ads but less than in the US). 
La7 is private channel, pretty good, and enough independent to preserve quality.

A part from the most popular Italian songs from the past, I would encourage you to discover our current singers. My favorite are Elio e le Storie tese, who are great musicians and a funny band, Jovanotti, the king of pop/dance - whose concerts are amazing and I always cry like a toddler-
 and for who loves Rock Ligabue is the Boss.

There are few reasons to avoid us. Few, but there are. Coming to Italy could result a pain for who is very precise, who works in the law field, in the financial field, or simply would like to do some business there. Once in Italy, they will find pure creative chaos.

Luckily, there are many more good reasons, to join us: we are friendly and welcoming, we are always ready to have parties and prepare good meals. But the best is: we have always a solution for any problem: we can always fix whatever is not working. 
There is always an Italian way to have the things done properly.

(the last 2 slides are all about gestures... 
I invented a mock speech during which I was gesturing like a crazy to show off all my Italian dictionary. Here I will just put the name of the gesture in bold)

And now the most important part of the guide: the gestures! 
The only way to learn them is having someone that shows you and here I am.

If we were two, we could organize something together.
Or maybe I couldn't be interested,
if I think you are crazy,
and say nonsenses.

But if you have a good idea,
you could do a lot of money out of it
if you don't have fear to try.

if the result is not working
we could excape with the money
but if I cannot stand you anymore
I will just say bye bye

because I'm smarter than you!

I will just put a short video from YouTube of the last gesture, which is the most important TO SURVIVE ITALIANS

Again, thank you very much to all my friends who came to support my 6 minutes and 35 seconds of celebrity.
I had fun before, during and after the presentation.
The Pechakucha Nights are gorgeous, I warmly invite everybody to come and present as well!

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