There was no shortage of crying, begging and yelling on the streets of Italy last week. Italian panhandlers, peddlers and pickpockets have nothing on me.
While I'd hoped to seamlessly blend into Italian society, I didn't even begin to fit in. For starters, the Italian people are remarkably good looking. They're also fashion-conscious and slender. That's three immediate strikes against my potential assimilation.
And while I'd studied the gorgeous language for weeks, my fluency evaporated the moment I landed at Fiumicino Airport. This was partly due to the surprisingly aloof nature of most of the people I met. I expected bear hugs and smiles. I was met with cool indifference instead.