While walking down the street underneath the Tigli trees, I could see and feel the moment the weather changed. In the same way you feel hunger or thirst, one season moving into the next. Just like that. I could practically hear the soundtrack from the Exorcist, the Tubular Bells.
Our street is leafy. Today, these same trees offering reprieve from the long hot summer shed their leaves for the first time, suddenly, flying in the wind, in our faces – Gigi and Gaston trundling along near my feet, wondering what all the fuss is about.
Change is certainly in the air. When I went to buy fabric yesterday Matteo was stunned with my answer. When he asked how i was I said fine. Apparently no one else is…and he gave me an earful. This wasn’t news but it was specific and Italians don’t like to share specifics. In fact their mood is generally found in what they don’t say, opposed to what they do choose to share.
Italians are not happy. This is normally a happy country, or what some call a happy entity made of 20 completely separate regions.
Europeans are not happy. Protests are everywhere, against the war, the sanctions, the energy prices. But the Italians are masters of misdirection. They aren’t going to protest, they’re just going to vote for a right wing gov; they’ll probably have their first female Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. This is their way. Draghi was fine for the recovery funds, but not for winter. Particularly this winter.
I read the the right wing’s political manifesto. As a liberal it didn’t alarm. Support for Ukraine, sure, but mostly support for Italians. Made sense. But here’s the thing; Italians are funny about their money. They are tight with it, they’re conservative. They don’t spend it on just stuff, like Americans, like me, like I used to; they’re pretty practical. They don’t make as much as the Germans.
Sure they like nice cars. Most Italians, at least those I’ve met over 20 yrs – no matter their economic reality – they have two properties. And they don’t like to waste money on wars and high energy prices that are perceived as unnecessary.
Italians are not happy and change is in the air…