Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Italy or England?

So I've been thinking lately, especially after my father got ill, about going to live in the UK again. It's been six and a half years now that I've been living in Italy (it doesn't seem possible!) and in many respects Italy is my home and I'm comfortable here, but in other ways I still miss England.

It's very hard to be objective about life in another country, so I googled "comparing Italy and the UK" which led me to a site called Ifitweremyhome.com. This site allows you to compare countries from the list by selecting two of them. I liked it so much I then did it in class.

The results were interesting if not very decisive. Earn more money in the UK but spend less on healthcare and live longer in Italy. Be less likely to be unemployed or get HIV in the UK but be 25% more likely to be murdered. My students were divided on which country was better but most opted for staying in Italy and living longer. Admittedly they are only teenagers so they haven't yet contemplated long term unemployment.

Since there was no mention of things like food, weather and education I've decided to write my own list. Perhaps you can help me add to it in the comments?

*Not all reasons are created equal*

Reasons to move to the UK
  1. earn higher wages
  2. a more dynamic job market and economy
  3. a more modern education system
  4. be nearer my family and friends
  5. cool summers with no need for mosquito nets
  6. walking in the English countryside with its footpaths and bridalways.
  7. driving on the left, and less scary motorways
  8. cheddar cheese, peanut butter, oat cakes, yorkshire puddings, gravy, proper tea, fish and chips
  9. cheaper medecines and beauty products
  10. not being told I'm so pale/I've put on weight/lost weight all the time
  11. cleaner air (at least with respect to Milan)
  12. seeing birds and wildlife in towns and villages. 
Reasons to stay in Italy
  1. easier and cheaper not to attempt to move house internationally 
  2. food is fresher and tastier.
  3. less rain
  4. be nearer A.'s family and our friends
  5. being able to choose or change your doctor easily, and getting more attention when you do go (in my experience).
  6. The Alps, the lakes, the riviera... all within a couple of hours drive.
  7. No longer be able to use the 'crazy foreigner' excuse
  8. Public transport costs less here
  9. Have to find myself a new career if I go back to England.
  10. Hairdressers are more talented at cutting curls in Italy 
  11. Houses cost less. Rents cost less.
  12. Ugh... London. 
In the meantime I'm going to study hard and see if I can pass my C2 Italian exam in June. It will be quite a challenge so wish me luck!


Rowena said...

I wish you luck on your exam! As far as comparing countries go, the distance between Italy and Hawaii (well, the US) puts the states at a disadvantage because Italy and Europe as a whole, is a lot more cooler. Over here you get guaranteed vacation time, over there you're lucky if the boss approves your request.

In your case you have an ailing family to consider and it always is a tough call no matter what you choose.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Interesting - I must play with that aite! Best wishes to you and your family.

Giannis said...

Good Luck with the exams! I hope I'll go for the B2 in Italian in the next year. What about your job in Milan? Is it so easy to leave it behind? And also, is it so easy to find a new job in England?

Laruchka said...

Thanks for your comments. We're still no closer to making a decision, and even if we do I guess we'll never know if it was the right one!