1. All you need to learn how to say it “my brother will get you,” and any guy will piss off.
2. Yelling expletives at an aggressive teenager surprisingly gets you into more trouble than you might think.
3. The man that “lost all his luggage in Croatia and is trying to get back so can he borrow $600 from you? He swears he’ll get you back” is most likely lying.
4. You should probably just go ahead and gain that weight because your host mom’s pies are a million calories each and they are entirely worth it.
5. Don’t yell in the Uffizi.
6. When you ask what kind of meat something is, and they reply with “meat”…don’t do it.
7. Your host brother is indeed 35 and living at home and he is proud and that is ok.
8. Don’t ever buy a bus ticket because they never check it, and you can always play the dumb American card. Over there, “American” is synonymous for “clueless.” Just mumble something in a Texan accent and they’ll laugh and walk away.
9. Buses will not run if one of the following is happening: snowing, raining, drizzling, tinkling, maybe a little bit cloudy, and also if there’s a strike, which there usually always is. I can count the number of days on one hand that there wasn’t a strike.
10. Over there, a 70% on a test is extremely stellar. You can finally be proud of all of your C’s.
11. The kids making out in the back of your school bus are actually in the middle of conceiving their third child, so could you just let them do their work in peace?
12. No one can pronounce your name, so you better just go by “hey you…American!”
13. PASTA IS EIGHT CENTS A BAG.
14. People will stare at you so just stare back. This is a great opportunity to win a spontaneous staring match. Winning is fun.
15. Don’t drink coffee with a meal or they will think that you have been raised in a barn.
16. Realize that the Communist fight is still very alive and well.
17. That man may just be calling you beautiful to “practice his english” and it may feel great because strangers rarely call you beautiful but make sure you ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR DIGNITY.
18. When that man flashes you in the park in the middle of the afternoon, make sure you call the police. They have an “exposure to minors” department in Italian law enforcement because these types of occurrences are so commonplace for them.
19. Don’t say Ciao Bella because that phrase belongs to creepy little men and tacky purses.
20. It is ok to just start crying while staring at the Colosseum. It is that beautiful.