Tuesday, November 18

European Stereotypes from A to Z

Although the new cool 10 euro bills have already been issued, all of a sudden the internet is atwitter about the new ad released to help people understand that the bill is not Monopoly® money.  And that's because, while it takes you through some of the more basic stereotypes, Italians were particularly offended that they were depicted as a waitress getting her first big tip.
And while I think that Italians have a storied tradition of fine restaurants and glorious food the world over, the ad is offensive for three reasons:  First, Italians don't tip [and why they don't need to here] So that waitress is clearly working in a fancy hotel where the clients don't know any better, or she's in another country - scraping by - on her tips.  Secondly, the head of the European Bank is one prominent Mario Draghi, so why were the Italians depicted with such a menial job?  Heck-the Spaniard had at least gone fishin' - a nice portrayal since his king and all his king's men were busy taking or paying bribes when they weren't out shooting elephants and his countrymen senselessly torturing bulls.  And third, but not least important is...English?  Really?  I'm not sure why that decision was made since England is not in the Euro Zone - maybe it's for all the other countries whose language was not included.  But if they wanted to reach the masses, especially the thousands washing up on the Italian coastline -- perhaps Arabic would have been a slightly stronger language to include in the film.
So while the ad agencies were considering what people could do for their 10 euro, here's my listing that may have been more country-specific:
  • Sit down in a Roman Taxi  But don't go anywhere. 
  • Sit down for two scoops of gelato
  • Visit a Museum
  • Top up your phone 
  • Buy 10 cappuccinos in Rome (alas only 6 in Milan)
  • Rent a lounge chair on the beach just kidding, you couldn't get away with that little
  • Buy a pizza and a drink at lunch
  • Give to any of the dozens of homeless beggars or window wiping squeegees in a day
  • Have a happy hour & buffet apericena at your fave bar
  • Slide a suitcase of them for anyone involved in Milan's Expo2015 construction bid - Aquila reconstruction - heck - any construction project across the Bel Paese.
  • Buy a chunk of parmigiano (insert tears here)
  • Gift it to the post office since your package or letter won't arrive anyway
For the original brilliant film of Europeans -vs- Italians...look no further than Bruno Bozzetto