Friday, June 12, 2015

Intercultural Communication in Cagli

by LeAna Crowley
 I can’t believe it is Saturday. Today I am feeling like I have caught up with Italian time, but I am still feeling tired. In fact, I am feeling like I need to sleep more to recover from this dumb cold I brought with me from home. It just will not go away! Now the stress of assignments is hovering and I am anxious. I had an anxiety attack yesterday. I decided to get up early today and meet some classmates at the piazza to catch up on assignments. It felt good. I had some hope.

This morning as I observe the people from Cagliese on the piazza I have a jaded feeling about them and this place. Although life in Cagli seems old world and has many reasons for that claim, it is like everywhere else when it comes to men, they are aggressive. Late last night I was finally able to go out with my peers in the piazza to enjoy their company and see what the culture did on Friday nights. It was a great night. I was outside with friends and the people of Cagli were equally enjoying the social aspect, but the one thing I can not get used to is all the smoke. Since I have a cold where it is hard to inhale, the smoke just shortens my capacity to so. There is nowhere to hide from the smoke like back home where I know that the no smoking law protects me. Anyway, I carry on the evening for the sake of being social. Since I have a cold, I decide not to drink alcohol. I had an orange sparkling water. Two hours later, my roommate and I started to walk home down our normal route when I notice an old man. He seemed pleasant and curious about us. He did not seem like a threat so we said “Buongiorno”. That was a mistake. Back home older men are not aggressive, and even if they are drunk, women can walk away. This Italian older man did not care about the language difference. He was already compromising my American standard by standing too close to me while speaking. When he put his finger on my neck area I felt threatened. I did not understand what he was saying because he was talking so fast. I backed away from the man. My roommate was the next target, but her faculties were stunted due to drinking. She seemed to have a greater tolerance for the proximity in which he stood and was really trying to understand Italian. I suggested we should just walk away. When I said this, the man seemed like he wanted me to go away by myself and leave them alone. I didn't know what to do. I called another classmate for suggestions, and behold, her apartment was directly over our heads. Our classmates told us to come into their apartment for safety. We immediately went into the apartment to get away and the man still tried to follow us! I have no empathy for aggressive behavior especially since I am a victim of a groping attack back in the states. The whole episode reminded me how fast things can get out of hand.