Italian gigolo?

As usual, I went to pick up my daughter from school. While driving towards a parking area I noticed that one car tried to park so I let the driver, an elderly man, park before proceeding with my car. Quite soon, I found a free park place and so I thought to walk towards the school. Midway a car stops and there is inside the same elderly man that just parked his car. His comment is “I would have liked to undress you”. I thought that I heard badly and that he said I did not hit you with a car (in Italian undress is svestire and hit a pedestrian investire), he looked at me and asked do I speak Italian and then he asked where do I come from. When he heard that I am from Finland he started to speak English and about how many languages he speaks. Then finally he told me that he should have found a woman like me, I just said hello and while walking I just laughed aloud. Just so ridiculous to say to a middle-aged woman that I would have liked to undress you. Later another mom told me that this same man has approached also her with same kind of arguments.


However, this is not the first time this happens to me here in Italy. When we bought this house the ex-owner had just lost his wife a couple of months before and he was very attached emotionally to this house. Therefore, he used to visit here quite often in the beginning and he was OK. He liked to play with our kids and was a funny person. Then one day he said that he would like to find a new girlfriend – a Finnish. Then I just told him that I have no idea where he could find one – he stopped to visit us anymore. Still when I meet him in the village center he is very (too) friendly and he loves to tap on the shoulders etc.


When I was young, I would have been shocked about this, now I can only laugh – I am too old to listen this garbage, it has no effect on me. However, these Italian men still maybe think that a Nordic, married, middle-aged woman is always ready for a small story. Well, maybe I should be flattered that I still get these suggestions once every ten years.

Why emigrates need Facebook?

We have heard many times from different instances that only middle-aged women use Facebook. Probably this is in some degree true. I would like to add one group that actually needs Facebook – immigrant women and in some degree also men. Especially I talk about a group consisting of women that live abroad due to different reasons (there are also a couple of men, but majority is made of women). These persons don’t have any family nearby to help, support and give advice. If they are married to a local man, there are only spouse’s relatives nearby. Then the relationship between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is often very complicated, especially in cultures where family ties are still very close. I have noticed that my Italian friends have problems with their mother-in-laws and therefore I’m not surprised to hear that Finnish women often, not always, have huge problems with their mother-in-laws here in Italy. A Finnish woman is grown to equality, the Italian women in a much lesser degree. So these strong Nordic women are probably some kind of threat to the Italian mothers or maybe just too different.


Lake Como

I belong to a couple of groups that consist of emigrated Finnish women (and of a couple of men). In these groups, you can ask anything and you will always get an answer. If you have problems with your spouse, you can talk about it and others will give their advises in a friendly manner always. When you miss a loved one they will support you, if a new baby is born to a member they will celebrate together. In a real life many immigrants are often lonely, it is not so easy to make friends in a foreign country. You are often considered foreigner no matter how long you have lived in a new country. In these groups, you can talk with persons that have had the same kind of experiences as you have. If you are just so sick of your new home country there is always somebody that helps you see the positive sides, if you have nostalgia to Finland, somebody might send you some Fazer chocolate.


Fazer Blue Chocolate

The problem with these virtual groups is that you can never really know the persons behind the names. I have had a possibility to meet some of my virtual friends and they have all been as nice in real life as in virtual life. Maybe we have to get used to the idea that we can have friends that we have never met in real life, but still we tell them our joys and sorrows of life.

A chair

As I have written earlier, I am planning to specialize in social media and abandon translations. Therefore, I am taking some communication courses at the university and I have to admit that I’m enjoying studying. Now I’m studying terminology and learning how to use terminology in classifying. Very interesting and also a bit difficult.

However, sometimes I bump into problems that are more practical. On Saturday after some begging and praying, I managed to take my husband to a furniture store, because I needed a new chair to my office. My physiotherapist told me to buy a chair that has a high back part so that my neck rests on the chair. Great, soon we found a nice chair (the name of the chair is senator – just suitable for me). However, nowadays not only in IKEA when you buy a chair you get a big, heavy box.

The box

The box

This meant that my husband and I would spend some hours trying to make a chair from the ingredients inside this box.

On Sunday evening, I decided that I would try to do it myself even if my husband told me to wait (because I would need his help anyway according to him). I took all the parts out of the box and well, there were quite a many parts. After this, I started reading the instructions and trying to figure out the meaning of the drawings. Great, I managed to attach all the wheels to the right places. Then I spent next 15 minutes trying to figure out how to put three plastic cones of different size together. Finally, I managed to do that. Then I had the first real problem I could not attach the base part to an upper part. At this point, my husband told me to WAIT – and this time I had to obey. Then after a while, he came and managed to attach these parts together. Everything proceeded quite smoothly to a certain point after which I heard mostly swear words and how low-quality chair was etc.

But like all the fairy tales also this one had a happy ending – I have a new chair and we, my husband and I, spent some quality (?) time together.


My new chair

Why abandon translation industry

“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.”

George Sand


When I decided to change my job, I asked myself why I want to abandon translation industry. I have worked almost 20 years as a freelance translator, I know the branch pretty well, and I am a good translator. But maybe this is the problem. After 20 years of making translations, I noticed that I don’t get any satisfaction of it anymore.

During these 20 years, the translation industry has changed dramatically. Nowadays there are CAT-tools, people use Google translator (that is awful). More and more often, clients ask me to proofread machine translations, but I never accept these assignments. The reason is that Finnish as a language is pretty difficult and therefore I should translate from scratch instead of proofreading. Still I would be paid for proofreading.

Competition is getting harder all the time. There are persons that work for peanuts, maybe they are students or unemployed persons that want to earn some extra euros. Due to the economic crisis clients, demand lower prices and their terms of payment are ridiculous. Especially here in Italy several clients say that they will pay in 90-120 days after the date of invoice. Unfortunately, I have to pay my bills much quicker than in 120 days. I’m fortunate though because my husband gets paid regularly every month and in this way, I have my personal sponsor. Because in Italy you need a personal sponsor if you work as a freelancer. Last year I paid about 150% taxes – the estimation was based on the year when I earned decently.

Therefore, after some thought I figured out that 1) I don’t like to work as a translator anymore 2) I don’t earn enough. I still make translations when asked, but I hope one day I can earn my living working with social media and I can say no to new translation requests.