La stufa, AKA heater, is something that exemplifies one of the many cultural differences I encounter here. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we don’t have all forms of electric heaters in the US and maybe it’s just my mother’s voice screaming about fire hazards in the back of my head, but I feel as though they’re a lot more ubiquitous here. Maybe that’s because more places than you would think have no central heating at all. I certainly looked at a few apartments that had “no need” for a radiator, so had an electric heater and I’ve even had friend live in such apartments. And yes, while it’s true that for a good part of the year you don’t need heat, I can tell you that from November to March, it’s a necessity. But more than anything, it makes me realize how “safety” obsessed we are in America. Not that it’s a bad thing – sometimes I think you could use a bit more safety here – but it also makes me realize that you can be a bit more carefree about things as well. My old roommate used to have a small gas heater he’d keep in his room. I didn’t really think much of it until one day it popped into my head that if anything went wrong, his little gas heater would explode our house. Did I say anything? Definitely not….he would have taken one look at me and said I was crazy.
Another difference, fire alarms. Again, I never gave it much thought, but I’m pretty certain my old apartment never had a fire alarm, and the current one does not. My mom will surely be in full panic now, but when I quizzed my Roman colleague on the matter, she thought it was ridiculous because the buildings are mostly stone anyway. I don’t really know if that’s a legit answer, but the fact that something as basic as a smoke detector is not mandatory in a house would be insane in the US. Mom, don’t send me a fire alarm now….
On another, separate note, I have to make an apology to all of you who take the time to read my blog. You see, for the past two months or so, my head just really hasn’t been in it the way it used to. With the move, being home, planning shows, I lost site of, and time for, doing the blog in the way I should. I’m sure you can understand after over a year of posting a photo and writing something almost every day, you can get tired. However, I promise you I am back, as this is the creative outlet that has allowed all other things and I never want that to change!