I have lived in several countries. I have looked into their eyes and I have everywhere seen things that I liked. I got Italian citizenship, and it means a lot to me. I always felt I gained multiple identities by soaking in the local structures, but without formal recognition it sometimes does not sink in with others I know. I am really happy for it and would love to have more citizenships confirming my ties to other places. I cherish acquiring identities, a process that hopefully makes me more complex, deeper, more humble. But I am surprised that most of the people I know do not care about me changing, becoming different. Or do I change at all? Do they care? Do they change or they don’t care? I feel I become less complicated to myself, that I evolve towards simplicity by learning more. Many other people in modern world go through similar processes. Do they evolve? And why the others don’t care? It is staggering to think that although I feel I became Italian, most Italians don’t feel that way at all. My sister laughed at me when I suggested I did. Didn’t she became Italian when I did? Why? How is it that one can aspire to become an American but you really are not supposed to become an Italian unless you were born one?
In the old Europe, belonging to a group, what after having lived in the New World looks to me as a tribal allegiance, is acquired through birth and, under the old patterns, once acquired the status defines an individual until his death. One’s identity is bound by this belonging, and a national identity defines an individual in a rather determined ways. We are born with our identities bestowed upon us, and we die with fear of tinkering with them under a threat of a political excommunication. How did it happen then, that I fell in love with the golden hills of a faraway country on the edge of the Pacific ocean? How is it possible that I feel its rocky, moist and foggy bay shores with thundering waves a place that belongs to me my birth when I was not born there? Or was I? Does it make me less Italian if I love California as much as I do Croatia, Italy or Austria? Is knowing the kelp something important for one’s identity? Will Californians mind me loving their orchards and deserts in a same incredulous and rejecting ways as Italians do when I claim allegiance to the vineyards of Piedmont and wheat fields of Tuscany? Barbara Walters said that as a child she was embarrassed in a way by her mentally retarded older sister. Do I have to be embarrassed by loving Austria although it appears to be breeding ground for a neurotic identity patterns in some people I have met. A lady was screaming red at me in sauna a month ago because I was sitting on my trunks rather then on a towel. She shouted “Raus! Raus! Raus!” at me and ran out to call a supervisor to throw me out of the swimming pool for the breach of rules, take my ticket away. I found that curious, but it did ruin my day, my precious tourist-paying-holiday-day. Should I have gone to Thailand instead? Sometimes Austrians feel that money is the best measure of the values they practice and get angry if they feel they are somehow cheated for their money. I guess it makes them feel as if they are overpaying everything, every single thing in life, especially when staying abroad. Probably the feeling is right, probably life measured by money is really worth less than a life which is not measured at all. Probably they are overpaying whatever they pay because if you feel you are overpaying your life, it must be right – ge- you experience remains shrunk. The life must be worth less then. I hope the screaming made the sauna lady happy, that it made her feel she got something for her money. She is just one of those overexcited folks obsessed by rules as if clinging to the rules will somehow buy them salvation out of their present lives. But how much is a life in a cellar worth? Is it underpaying or overpaying, that puts you in a cellar? Do they care if know what is in their cellar? I might have helped if anyone cared to ask what have I seen in their cellar. I have seen their cellar, I have seen their eyes and I knew. Is it possible that I wanted to help but because I had an accent, so I did not qualify. Does one need a citizenship in order to qualify as someone who can help? Is it enough to belong? But can one belong at all, or you have to be blind to belong? Or numb? Or deaf? The Slavic accent in my German might have made her feel that the screaming outburst has been right, well earned. When will we have societies where you will be able to belong by contributing the criticism?
It must be some kind of superiority complex, similar to the excitement that Croatians show towards Czech tourists who in their opinions are not spending enough on their coast. Why then do Croatians bring their food with them when they go skiing abroad? Shouldn’t Croatians and Czechs know that overpaying your experience makes it disappear and that no amount of your own food can save the vanishing experience form the utter disappearance? Or does it? Do they feel superior to the Austrians who think the same? Or does it save the Czech from loosing their experience if they do not pay and thus stay out of both Croatian and Austrian curses? What do they feel then towards Slovaks? Do they feel the same towards the Slovaks while in Slovakia, as what they feel towards them while in Croatia? Do my Italian compatriots care what have I seen in their cellar. Do my Croatian compatriots know at all that foreigners and people with overlapping identities see better what is in the cellars? Why don’t my Italian friends don’t ask me how do I like their dance? Why don’t Italians know that dancing a civil war won’t make it go away? Can I help more if I have their citizenship, or does it make me even more unfit to pronounce my vision? Europe is changing but it stays far from being able to offer answers to these questions at any level. Ask the Dutch. The answers remain out of bounds, and it is almost as if people without overlapping identities would prefer the others to stay in a cellar. This I will change, I mean the unintelligible text above.