America for (Italian) Dummies #32

As I’ve already said all the Italians born in from the 1970s on grew up, as we would say, a pane e serie Tv (‘bread and American tv series’). And TV shows are the main source for their knowledge of America and American culture.

They any single episode of Starsky & Hutch, The Streets of San Francisco, Miami vice, Hunter, probably more than once…

…so they think they know everything about American police and crime.

That’s why they need you. Any Italian in the US really needs a wise American friend warning them about a couple of things they are probably not aware of.

First of all prepare yourself: you will hear a lot of “Wow! Look they look exactly like … (favorite TV series)!”.

Second, advice them: never, ever, ever, get out of your car if a police officer pulls you over.

In Italy Police is legally allowed to pull you over and ask for your ID for no reason, you might want to tell them that in the US this doesn’t work like that.

Third no alcohol means NO alcohol. Italian laws says the same think but… make sure to remind them the danger of driving drunk in general, and legal consequence that will eventually affect their visa and greencard in particular.

Fourth: public morality. Have you ever watched Italian TV? Well if you did you know that we have a quite different idea of appropriateness, let’s say a more flexible concept of risqué, in general we are not very scandalized by nudity. Topless sunbathing for instance is normally tolerated in Italy, so does drinking beer on the beach or other public spaces. So they might think the same is allowed in the Land of Freedom.

Last but not least: please tell them that event at night, even in the most isolated place, peeing outside is not an option.


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