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A reader commented on the Expat Report Culture Shock in Verona, Italy
Culture-Shock-in-Verona
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Don't tip as it is not required and they will consider you as stupid. Sure, they'll take it but they won't respect you. Also, drink your coffee slowly, regardless of the thimble size cups. (Continue)
krism replied most recently with:
I think part of the main reason the OP didn't have a great experience is the lack of effort in terms of learning the language. No matter where you go, if you don't make an effort to learn the language but you plan to live there, locals tend to brush you off. The US is the same way, many people who don't speak English will get brushed off, because it's hard to explain things within a limited vocabulary.
A reader replied recently with:
I don't get this person's criticisms. I think it might be because he has been in the military for a long time, and expects things to be "in order". Yes, the large Italian metropolitan areas are expensive - as they are all over Europe. Northern Italy is a very sophisticated place with excellent transportation (btw, the rest stops that frequent Italian highways put American rest stops to shame, by a long shot - as well as often serving superb snacks and small bites). I find people friendly, but somewhat reserved. That's true in most places. It's not Long Beach, CA. Food is uniformly of high quality, and reasonably priced. Once one knows one's way around, one discovers ways to economize, if necessary. I think the key here is that no matter where one ends up as an expat, there is going to be some adjustment to be made. Those that are more rigid or controlled in their outlook (not a bad thing, just a personal proclivity) - or who are constantly comparing everything with what they *know* in America, are going to have a more difficult period of adjustment.
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Expat Report Having a Baby in Verona, Italy by bilingualforfun was published
Having-a-Baby-in-Verona
Describe your experience giving birth there. What type of facility did you go to? What (if any) type of pain management did you use? How long did you stay in the hospital? Was it a positive experience? Etc...
A clarification first, i gave birth in my own country. But arrived from the UK just few weeks before giving birth, so the whole experience was similar to the experience an expatriate would have (not the same of course, but close enough).

I gave birth in a public hospital.

I chose beforehand a midwife that would assist me through delivery, on top of the midewives that would have been doing their shift, I chose he through word of mouth.

I used no pain relief, but didn't want any,

I did suffer for few minutes but it was short and overall very good (happy to share how I prepared for the event, but it's a different story).

The delivery room was huge, about 6 times bigger than the delivery rooms I had seen in London, great!

I had problems with breastfeeding and found the hospital didn't offer much support, although Il Melograno (breastfeeding support org) and a pharmacy offered me great support. I eventually breastfed for 9 months, on a mixed regime. (Continue)

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