“I am Italian”…”No way?!”

Hey there guys!!

Hope your week has been a good one, and you are ready for the finally oh so close weekend. So today, I wanted to share with you all how fun (insert a big bowl of sarcasm) it was growing up in Italy as a black kid.

Let me give you a little background on Italy: it is one of the few countries (that I am aware of) that recognizes immediate citizenship exclusively by blood (Ius sanguinis) meaning that me being born there by Nigerian parents, I was not considered Italian by birth. At the age of 18 I would have had the option of choosing if I wanted the nationality of a country I never even lived in, or if I wanted to be Italian. Luckily for me, turned out that I was somewhat of a decent basketball player so I ended up getting my citizenship sooner to be able to play for the National Team, how ironic.(can you find me??lol ha!)

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Anyways, if I sat here and typed all the ways living in Italy was the most tiresome to the soul experience, I would literally have to write the sequel to the sequel to “The Never Ending Story”. So instead I will share with you the top 10 stupidest human interactions/questions “real” Italian felt entitled to asking. Hold on to your seats because it gets dumb!

1.So where are you from? No I mean where are you really from?

Needless to say, I truly despised that question, as if being born here was my choice. I am from Parma never seemed to be enough of an answer, the biological explanation to my darkness always had to be given, but they rarely got it.

2. Wow!! you speak so well, how come you don’t have an accent?

If you know me, you would also know I have a very low tolerance for annoyance and stupidity, so this question actually rarely got a response other than an eye roll and an 180-degree turn away from whoever asked it.

3. Is it really hot where you come from?

My usual response to this was to cross the street and yell out “yup!! Same temperature over here too!” and kept it moving very nonchalantly.

4. (while at the beach) beautiful water isn’t it? do you have it where you are from?

They get the same exact response as the above, I would swim (ok more like dog paddle) a few feet over, and just yell “SI!!”

5. Does your hair get wet?? (which was the dumbest question that consistently arose after I had just come up from diving in the water”

Does a fist to the face hurt? seemed like the logical response to that.

6. Do you know him/her? ( while pointing at some random African person.)

See at this point you would think I would be out of answers, but instead, I would just point to the next random Italian and say oh look is that your mom?

7. Hey HEY how much??

(BACKGROUND: Italy has a very high rate of prostitution, and yes many prostitutes are black women, just as many are white eastern European or Brazilian. However, a lot of Italian men feel as though being black and woman is the obvious combination for sexual solicitations…WRONG)

HA…so the actual response to this very rude and degrading question would require way too many of these $%##@ so I’ll let you figure that one out.

8. Do you have a tiger in the back of your hut in Africa?

I never knew if I should let them know tigers do not live in Africa but in Asia, or that Nigerians for the most part( hey some people are country out there too trailer/hut same difference) live in homes.

9.Can I touch your skin (if they even bother asking)

Can I punch you in the face? ( seems straight to the point)

10. Whats your name? Abiola. Fabiola??(an Italian name). NO ABIOLA (Nigerian name= born in grace)…I KNOW how to say my name.

P.S MENTION: Of course the “nigger” “monkey” and “go back where you came from” (my mother’s womb you mean???) were always ready waiting for me to received them.

Well guys, this was just the tip of the iceberg but you get the gist of it!!!Love the country and the friends I left there don’t get me wrong, I miss my morning croissant and cappuccino daily, but those things, I very gladly left behind me. “everywhere I go they ask me where I am from” and if I have a choice in the matter then I chose to actually be a foreigner wherever I reside!

Ciao for now,

be art,

Aby

 

 

 

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