This entry is about game strategy and has little do with Italy, but it has to do with life.
There is a difference between getting ahead and getting ahead ethically. You can learn a lot about what people think on this matter by playing a game. In this case, Catch Phrase.
Some people playing the game yesterday with me decided to dawdle purposefully as "strategy" in order to knock someone out. In this case, the person was me. They say it's sour grapes, but it's really not. I don't mind losing out on something if I lose fair and square -- this goes far beyond games.
If I'm not qualified to do a job, I don't mind someone else getting it. But if someone purposefully does an action to cause someone else to fall out of the running, this is cheating to me.
Some people argue this is what the business world is like. Trust me, I've dealt with the business world multiple times. This isn't a mindset that has to exist, but it does in the realms of the overly ambitious and self-centered.
Playing dirty to win in games seems to spill out into life, and it's remarkable.
This is something that frankly pisses me off about the American mentality. Many do what they can to get ahead, rather than thinking about the people along the way, or the individuals they hurt or hold back. There is a much better way to go about life, and that's to help people along the way.
Idealistic? Naive? Perhaps.
But I've been able to do this so far, and I've had no problems being successful. Look at these Italians. They're laid back, spend time to smell the roses, and still get a lot done.
Today in Florence, I went to a Human Wax museum. It was disgustingly delicious, in a Tim Burton-esque kind of way. One of the oldest pieces was made in 1700, based on a human skull that is at the bottom of the layers of wax. As there were no pictures and videos allowed, I bought a picture book. The University of Florence owns the place, and it's an actual working scientific laboratory.
After, I went to market and was able to shoot some footage of people negotiating for the movie (PS: we're up to 9 hours of footage, right on track for the projected 36).
I bought a nice leather jacket (hand stitched with Lamb's Wool lining, made in Florence, which has the best leather in the world), along with a few silk ties.
Those are my gifts to myself, because I didn't want to come back with some gaudy "I Love Italy" or "Florence" shirt.
Those are gaudy.
People who wear those are the worst kind of tourists.