As you know, we are supposed to get our shipment on September 12. I just found out the big 800 feste is starting on September 11. I am pretty nervous about getting it.
I spoke with Emanuele about it and he told me to call him when they are coming and he would run interference with the police if need be. Emanuele is our “patron”. His family is now our family. They will look out after us as though we were their own. This sparked a conversation with my sister about differences between here and the US.
In Italy everything is about the network, your family first, then friends and acquaintances. The Italians are not motivated by money. Their wealth is in their influence and favors owed. Totally opposite of the US where the dollar is King. Remember in the Godfather? Everyone owed him. It was understood that he might never ask for anything in return for his favors… or he might. It is just like insurance. You may never use it. Or you might have to. The Godfather said, “If you were my friend, people would fear you”. Influence.
One never does anything alone here. You call upon your friends and family. Want to buy a car? Get friends to help. A refrigerator or TV? Same thing. Emanuele and his family are now “our” family. We are expected to ask them for help in all things. I admit I have a hard time with this. I am used to doing things on my own.
My sister asked why he would do that. How do we compensate him for this? And what do Susan and Gary get (they introduced us to this family)? She asked if he has to adopt every new client. And if they bring new obligations to him if he does.
Again, she is thinking like an American. He doesn’t expect compensation. But he knows he can ask something of us and we’d do it if we could. It is not a material thing. It is not about the money. In America it matters not who you are, as long as you have the money. Totally different mindset.
He has not asked for any money from us yet for instance. He has a lot of workers working for him at our house but I am betting they just wait until he is ready to pay them.
Yes it is a strange land. Very, very different attitudes.