When you live in a city, in the very north of northern Italy, the term "weird-o" takes on new meaning. Basically if you're grandparents weren't born here (followed of course by your parents and yourself and your kids) you're wacked. And it's amazing, to me, the percentage of people who come from families who come from here for 2 or more generations.
But all hope is not lost. If you can follow some basic rules, you could find the approval of the masses and might just in fact pass yourself off as a native.
1. Your children must have at minimum three layers of clothing on when they venture outside. Undershirts are a must. Tucked in. Preferably wool.
2. There are three approved colors for the season. Wear them and don't get any crazy ideas.
3. Wear your purse across your chest and clutch it closely. Trust no one, suspect everyone.
4. Don't smile. Unless you're a man, then you can smile at women walking alone. If you have time when you're done ogling them.
You should see the looks I get from punkette's nuns when I drop her off in the morning. This is a child that complains she's hot in the dead of winter if she has to wear socks. I'm happy if I can get her to pull a spring jacket on. Oh, how they love to give the looks. Sweet little judgmental nuns.
To be honest, I enjoy getting the looks. It makes me feel like I'm one of those cool brave hip mammas with brilliant dreadlocked children that turn out mini feats of science and literature at the homeschooling composting for change festival. One of THOSE weird-Os.
Which is, of course what I strive to be, it's just that being here makes it so much easier. And quite a bit more fun.