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UX1

Post your UX1 assignment here.

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6 comments

This is how you should title your posts--so we can see who posted what.

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I arrived in Philadelphia only 11 days ago, but it seems to me to be here for a lifetime! During these days, I tried to observe the American people, in particular their lives, to hear their hopes and thoughts about their Country.

Most of the people with whom I spoke were uber drivers, cashiers or shop assistants and all of them had more or less the same reaction as they knew I was italian. They were curious about me and they started to tell me about their families. For example they told me that also their grandparents came from Italy or their fathers had lived in Italy for 3 years and then they had decided to move in the Usa. I was surprised because the majority of Americans has italian origins!

Last friday I went to see a match of the basketball team from Philadelphia, called the 76ers and at the end of the match me and other two friends called a uber driver to get home. When our uber driver understood that we were italian, he started to spoke with us about his italian origins, about his name, Luciano Rocco, that is clearly italian.

He also told us that he visited Italy three times, but before his childrens were born. I carefully listened his dreams like that one day he would like to return to my country with his childrens and let them know their italian relatives. We also spoke about italian politics, unresolved problems that there are in Italy whose news coming up in the Usa. It was very interesting to listen people around me, as Luciano and in particular the ideas that thay have about my country and the lifestyle there.

Other people that I met during these days in Philadelphia, were kind and polite with me especially when they gave me infomations about the city and how to reach some places in the town, but they were not curious about my origins also if my pronunciation is clearly not american.

Living in a foreign country for me means not ony meet new people, but immersing myself in another world with different prospectives, different cultures that can give me new possibilities, new ways of thinking. Furthermore it allows me to leave behind preconceived ideas that I might have remaining anchored to my country.

 

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I always dreamed to visit and live in the U.S. and finally, thanks to the grant i received, i ve accomplished my aspiration. I ve always got influenced by the american culture, especially watching american movies or TV series, and now i have the chance to test theese stereotypes and see what is true and what is not.
I only spent a week in Philadelphia, but i already noticed something that made me think about American culture and stereotypes.
There are two things i noticed about America and Philadelphia during my first walk on my neighbourhood:
- many people have a flag of the United States waving in front of their houses. I think that’s a sign of a patriotic spirit that is very felt in the U.S.; i  can’t say the same for my country, we usually feel patriotic only during Football World Cup.
- I saw lots of schoolbus driving in the street in afternoon. I know this is something really simple and common in the U.S., but still it impressed me.

Generally, american people seems to be really kind to me. it’s a melting pot of different races (white, black people, latinos, asiatic), but they all seems to appreciate Italy and especially Rome. In fact, everytime i was talking to somebody new and saying i was from Rome, almost everybody was enthusiastic about my country and city. People appreciate italian history, art, culture, food and wine.

There is one thing that i really don’t like about America: guns.

Even if i am here since one week, i have already had the chance to be host at a typical american house and to see the house owner ‘s gun. Even if i understand the need of safety that everybody has, i really couldn’t have a gun and keep it at home. Honestly, I would feel safer without a gun at home then to have it.

I think Italy (and Europe in general) and U.S. are two opposite worlds: the first one is older, with more history and a bigger heritage but, just like an old man, it’s less open-minded and less open to changes; the second one, America, is a younger world. It may not have all the history of an european country, but it has a modern, open-minded, easy going and technological attitude and this is something really usefull for a country in order to be able to follow the future and assimilate and accept cultural and technological changes that will inexorably occur.
 

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The first thing that you have to fight as Italian in The US are stereotypes about Italians.        

Spaghetti,mandolino, mafia, musical accent, gestures,  romantic, loud, fashion, chaos, Berlusconi:  these are all words often used to describe Italians. 

In every Uber that I took here in Philadelphia I had to speak to the driver of at least one of these topics!!!

However, Italians are much more formal than most foreigners imagine and Americans should tread carefully to avoid offending anyone.

 For example Me…I am very permalous!!!

 If you ask 10 more Italians to try and explain who they are, you will get 10 different answers; but then again we do like a good argument over some even better food!

So what's true in the stereotype?

·         A good meal should always be shared with someone else.

·         The Mafia is real: we are not proud of it but it does exists. Obviously not every Italian is a Mafioso .

·         Yes, the way we speak is completely original. We simply cannot talk without our hands.

·         We like to travel a lot, but do not speak many foreign languages - maybe because we trust body language more than words.

·         Yes we do enjoy romance (just like everyone else - more or less) and maybe the stereotype of the Italian romantic lover is not completely dead.

·         We are chaotic. Nothing in Italy is well organized or easy-to-use. You have to fight to get the smallest scrap of information.

·         You won't ever see an Italian wearing sporting short pants combined with long socks: it's simply against our fashion rules (let alone our sense of style)!

.         Italians stay at their parents' home until they have saved up enough money to pay for a flat. This can take a while, which is why many Italians leave their homes when they’re already 30 years old. This, by the way, has earned Italians a reputation of being mummy’s boys.

However, being Italian takes a lot more than that - we are not really pasta and pizza mafiosi.

On the contrary, in Italy there are some stupid stereotypes about Americans, one of these is definitely on language. We say that Americans "eat" the words.
I must confess that this stereotype is quite true (obviously not for everyone). In fact, I found some problems in understanding people especially in crowded places……….         
                                                              
In conclusion I can say that Stereotypes always tend to have some truth mixed in with a few generalisations and a bit of exaggeration.  

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A city, color, people, smells, the sounds, different things. habits, ways of thinking that you get used slowly, one step at a time. When I first arrived the predominant feeling was that of being disoriented by the mere thought of being on the other side of the world. With each passing day this feeling is decreasing. This is thanks to the people who with a smile or with one word can make you feel at home, like Abruzzese Gran Caffè L'Aquila on the second day have been with us, and from that day we became fixed customers or the well-dressed, blonde lady named Patricia who we met today in Rittenhouse Square. Patricia loves Italians and has a italian friend, they were known for 15 years with which we often hear. She likes a lot Italian people because she loves Italians because they are good company, are very kind, gently and generous. She loves Italians because they have much taste in clothes and have a lot of style. She told us many things about her life and seemed thrilled to have met the Italian people at park. She told us that she never been in Rome but she visited other cities of Italy and he gladly left us his business card to meet again. in addition to this we have met many people who have loved the fact that we were Italian, as our landlord or some taxi driver or uber drivers. They are not all so obviously, the early days were not easy but luckily we found the people who support us and support us making us feel almost at home. I'm sure that in time we will be able to integrate well because Philadelphia is a multicultural city, a bit like Rome and it is easy for a foreigner feels at home.

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How other people respond to me as a foreigner was the question that came to my mind before I moved to Philadelphia.
Since the first minute here in USA I've understand that nothing would have been the same for my self and that I had started a new chapter of my life. 
In Fiumicino airport I have cried a lot and everybody worried about me trying to support me: hostess, steward, shop assistant.
When I landed in the USA nobody cared about me. 
I was was walking passing through the line of immigrant I understand that since that moment I became that. 
And as immigrant I experimented on my skin what means that word; different approach to life, different way of thinking, different food. 
This is how you feel but it's not only the sensation of a young Italian girl that start to live in a different country. 
There are many different ways in which American people respond to me as a foreigner.
The first one, I'd call "ACADEMIC". 
Professors try to  let us feel at home, they are kind and willing, and they want to demonstrate us that our cultural differences are our goals. 
I'd call the second group "NO WELCOME". 
They look at you how the Americans native looked at the white man for the first time in the history. 
If you pronounce a word with the wrong accent they pretend to don't understand you and they send you away; also If you are questioning about the name of the most important street of the city, they doesn't matter and answer : " I don't know".
For the third group I've chose the idiom: "the world is the same wherever you go". 
They are adorable, helpfully and approach with you like you are their Italian cousin's daughter, questioning you if everything is ok, how is live far from your family or simply: " How are you? Can I help you?". 
I've had the fortune of meet a lot of people of this fantastic category but I want to talk about one of them, my home's owner.
David is one of that people! 
The first time I've gotten in touch with him I thought that couldn't be possible that a man with his curriculum ( he is a University Professor), his philanthropy, his soul, could have the most beautiful house that I've visited here in City, and that without any fees he gave me the key of his home, but.... here I am! 
Living here has been less traumatic than I've imagined and in conclusion I hope to meet a lot of Americans people in order to know them better.

 

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