ITA vs. USA (in the little things)

Scott Durrwachter
April 4, 2017

Okay so I'm going to be crazy biased about this topic. Obviously I grew up experiencing American culture, and so Italy (and generally Europe) feel foreign to me, and its easy to say "I don't like (insert this or that)." So I'm going to do my best to remain nuetral and fair. 

Let's start with the important things - bathrooms. I know Europeans laugh and are often in shock at how much water is in our toilet bowls in America. But let me tell them this. It's way better at keeping the toilet clean. And I mean way better. Now, public bathrooms are a different issue. At first look, I hated the fact that many public bathrooms cost money to go in. But the more I've thought about it, the more I liked the idea. I mean call me fiscally conservative (please do) but bathrooms cost money to operate just like anything else. If you want to use that service, you should pay something for it. I'm thinking that profit needs to be made on people having to relieve themselves, just something to keep the facilities open and people who opt not to use them don't have to pay for other people to use them. I do wish that there were more of them though. Not always the most fun when you or someone you're with really has to go and you spend 20 minutes searching. That could have been 20 minutes of me eating gelato. 
Let's call the bathroom battle a tie.


Okay this is a fairly easy at the surface. Italian food is amazing, italian wine is amazing, and not having to calculate what the tip is split between 6 people is also amazing. On a whole, I like eating out more in Italy than in the U.S, these guys and gals over here really do know how to cook. But it gets more difficult because I spend most of my time in Siena, which is on the smaller side, so our options were often limited to Italian, or Italian. One time though, things got really interesting, and I ate Italian. It was great. While I do like a more diverse selection in America, and no matter how much I love the free water, I gotta give Italy the win in this section.


This probably sounds trivial, but walking is so much easier in the U.S. As a whole, people walk on the right side of the sidewalk, and generally make an effort to move out of your way if you might collide. This isn't true in Italy. People walk where they want to walk, its confusing, no one moves out of our way, so whenever I'm trying to walk to the grocery store, it takes me twice as long because I have to zig-zag my way through the crowds. Also there's this really odd thing where it's cool to be in a group, take up the whole street, then make random stops to have an American try to see how he can get around. I've also never seen an Italian shift their position so they don't walk into someone else. So maybe it's us American who are disrupting everything, but I have to take an afternoon to sit and watch how they have no rhyme or reason to where they walk, don't course correct, yet I've never seen the collision I've been expecting (and secretly hoping for).

All that's left to do or say is to add up the points and see who won!


(Yes I realize I didn't assign points)

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Scott Durrwachter

<p>My name is Scott Durrwachter, and I am a junior at Penn State studying Business Management. I am studying abroad in Siena, Italy on the Business and Economics of the Food and Wine Industry (does it get any better than that?). My goals in Italy are to keep studying the coffee industry (especially espresso) and to befriend an Italian grandmother who loves to cook.</p>

2017 Spring
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