4 February 2007

Greetings

Greetings cards are not big business here. Italians don't exchange cards like we do, for special occasions they either give a gift and/or call/visit/text etc to say auguri (best wishes).

In England instead there's a card for everything and a card shop on every high street. People give a card for every event - new house, belated birthday, new job, leaving job etc. I enjoy browsing through the cards in Clintons/Hallmark/WHSmiths etc and having a good chuckle at the cards. Some can be really funny.

Yesterday I went to buy my Dad a card for his approaching birthday. I went to the cartoleria (stationers) and browsed through the small collection whilst the shop assistant kept a careful eye on me, just in case I wanted to shove one in my bag without paying. It's not that I look like a criminal, this is normal behaviour in small shops here. Anyway, whereas in Clintons I'd have a laugh at the cards, here they just don't have that effect. It could be different senses of humour I suppose, I mean, I can understand the Italian, so the language is not the problem...Sometimes I wonder if maybe there is double meaning to what I've read which would make an Italian recipient laugh out loud.

The one I went for - ie, the best one in my opinion, read the following: "Buon compleanno" (so far so good), then inside "Goditi questo giorno e... attenzione al tuo equilbrium!" translated: "Enjoy today and... be careful you don't fall over" :| Does that make anyone laugh? Is it meant to I ask myself? I didn't bother to translate it for Dad as I don't think there's much point, he's not missing much by not understanding. He'll understand the "Buon Compleanno" which is the important bit.

Card in hand, I've completed half the battle of getting a card to England. The next hurdle is to find a postage stamp - the times I go to the tabacchi - who is supposed to sell stamps amongst other things - I ask for a stamp and he says "niente francobolli". Then finally to I have to go to a main post office (out of my way) to post it. If you post a card from a random box it will take from 2 weeks to forever to arrive, whereas if I post from a central post office it will take from 4 days to forever to arrive.



8 comments:

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

Deli,

You have totally brought up a point that I have overlooked and forgotten about, but is sooo true. WHAT IS UP with Italian greeting cards? Why do they all have insane cartoon characters on them? LAME! I SOOOO miss my Hallmark. Sob, sob. You know what I do now? I buy the materials when I am back in the States (rubber stamps, paper, etc.) and I make my own. And I stock up on note cards, thank you cards, etc. from Hallmark.

I once sent my dad an Italian birthday card too, and mine had that weird blue cartoon character, what is he, a wolf? Boh!

Good post. And buon viaggio to the card, hope it makes it before your babbo's next b-day.

sognatrice said...

I really miss just browsing in a card store too--I could spend hours in there just laughing like an idiot. I especially loved going with a friend, and passing the best back and forth. Also, I have yet to find an actual stamp here, which is sad because to me, that's part of the fun of sending a card. Of course if you already have to explain what a card says and why (arguably) it might be funny/mildly amusing, I suppose the stamp doesn't much matter anymore....

Delina said...

Shelley, good idea making your own. Brava.

I sometimes stock up on a few cards when I go back too - taking the easy option :)

Max said...

In effetti in Italia le cartoline si mandano solo quando... si รจ in vacanza! :D

J.Doe said...

I also could understand the words on Italian greeting cards, but not quite understand the humor,if any, in them.
Happy Birthday to your father.

Becslifeonline said...

Nope you still haven't put me off wanting to move to Italy though! Haha.

Giulia said...

I agree with you you on the lack of greeting cards here. In a way, it's sad. I am so happy that E-Cards exist. It saves the time of having to go to the posta and the disappoinment of not being able to find the right card.

Fiore said...

Delina,
I totally agree...I wish there was a greeting card store here in Naples which had a card for everytype of occasion. Thank you cards are difficult to find. Do the Napoletani not know how to say thank you?? LOL. I just use hallmark.com and send their free e-cards....but regardless the experience is not the same.

I love your pics by the way...

take care
Fi