I don’t want to always talk badly about Italy and Italians; on the contrary, I have a longing for certain things that you can’t even imagine.
Likewise, I neither think Brussels is a bed of roses, or that all Belgians are good eggs.
Now that we cleared that up, it’s not up to me to say, but yesterday something happened to me that made me think.
I passed by Fnac in City 2; I wanted to buy one of those pens for tablets, you know – a pen to use on an iPad – to draw. They are called styluses, those pens there.
The fact is, they start at 12 euro and go up to 35 euro; so I went to the salesperson, who was leaning with his elbows on the counter with his chin on his hands – I said Excuse me, why is there such a difference in price, one costs three times as much?
“Quality,” he answered. If I had had a shovel handy I would have hit him over the head.
Thank you, I answered him, but what do you mean quality?
To which he, still with his elbows on the counter and his chin on his hands, answered that the 12 euro one breaks, while the other one shouldn’t.
So there is a difference in construction – that’s that – and not in performance, I told him.
Exactly, he answered me with his elbows on the counter and his chin on his hands.
So I put the pen down, I went to Media Markt, I bought the same identical pen, the 12 euro one.
That will teach him to lean with his hands on the counter and his chin on his hands.
There I became a bit disheartened; I felt like I had returned to Italy, so then going down to take the metro, I went to get a smoothie, one of those drinks with whatever you want in it, where they mix carrots, celery, apples, beets, ginger, bananas, kiwi, fennel, mango and everything else.
I got a small Urban Tonic: carrots, apple, lemon, cucumber.
It’s just they didn’t have any more lemons, so I waited a bit, meanwhile they served everyone who had arrived after me, eventually they used lime instead of lemon.
Then when it was finally ready, the guy said Noooooo, I botched it up, and he threw everything out before being able to say that I would have drunk it anyway regardless of whatever he might have put in it – as long as it wasn’t dead spiders.
The fact is, he started all over again, and meanwhile everyone in City 2 had already drunk, except me.
At last a young girl served me and said: Here you go – sorry, but at least I was able to make you a big drink instead of a small.
That’s what I mean, this made me think, without over generalizing, that Italians take little of this type of responsibility; in Italy it is always someone else’s fault, and nobody can ever help, and nobody ever takes responsibility to decide anything when they work for others.
Like making a big smoothie instead of a small one.
I thanked her and ran like hell, for fear of being lynched by my neighbors because of favoritism for my big smoothie.
Actually then I realized that my neighbors didn’t give a shit that they served me a big smoothie instead of a small one.