My sister, her husband, and her three boys are coming for a visit in a few short weeks, and when we were talking about preparing for the trip we discussed comfortable footwear, food allergies, and practicing wearing scarves ahead of time so that they didn’t feel foolish in them. (Scarves, of course, being mandatory in Europe since the Treaty of Versailles.)
It occurs to me now, a day after that conversation, that for the boys the weirdest thing about being in Europe for the first time will be body stuff: seeing boobs in the pharmacy’s anti-cellulite display, having people in the park wear bicycle shorts into the cafe when they stop for a coffee, having a not-at-all-private too-short privacy curtain in the changing room at the swimwear shop.
There certainly are fashion-based weirdnesses here (so many jackets on so many dogs!), but my most awkward moments in Europe have always been body-related. I imagine the same will be true for my beloved mid-Western 6, 8, and 10-year-old nephews. Oh, little Americanos, I cannot wait to see you!!!
ps. wondering why you’re not blending in despite your scarf, your expensive sweater, and your chic hair? It’s your pores! They don’t seem to have them in Italy. Gives you away every time.