Saturday, June 2, 2018

Italy Loves Mad Dog! Go Figure

Some dozen years ago Mad Dog was trapped into visiting Italy, when his son decided to do a summer abroad studying there.

Mad Dog does not like getting on airplanes to Europe, does not like walking about where people do not speak English, is very much a thorough going Hobbit who is happy in his shire and not inclined to seek quests in strange and threatening lands.

He was completely charmed by Italy and the Italians he met, many of whom, unexpectedly spoke English and all of whom (except for the guy who tried to steal his luggage at the train station) were as pleasant, helpful and accommodating as they could be.

In Italy, Mad Dog discovered the wonder of really excellent olive oil, which the Italians savor as much as they do wine.  

Waiting for a bus to the airport, homewardbound, Mad Dog struck up a conversation with a Dutch guy, who had been in Italy for a holiday.

Mad Dog: Wow, these Italians know how to live. They are unhurried, contemplative, and they do not rush through anything, meals, conversations. What a people!

Dutch Guy:  Yes, well, they are very laid back, but, of course, they do not work, so they can afford to be laid back. Schedules do not oppress them.

Mad Dog: But their trains run on time.

Dutch Guy: The only legacy from Mussolini.
Mad Dog: Still, I love the country.

For some reason, the affection seems to be reciprocated. Every week, Mad Dog's audience is heavily weighted to viewers from Italy. Typically, in a given week there will be 50% more viewers from Italy than from America. Russia comes in 3rd. 
Why would Italians be interested in some ranter from New Hampshire, USA? 
Makes no sense.

Mad Dog would like to think this is true affection, but he suspects trolls and Russian internet hacks route themselves through Italy. If these were real Italians reading Mad Dog in Rome or Florence, Mad Dog would expect an occasional comment from one of them. Italians do seem to value conversation. They would sit in piazzas for hours over a cup of espresso, just talking with one another, like human beings. 

But no Italian converses on the Mad Dog blog. 
So these could not be real Italians.
Must be some sort of cyber hackers.

Can there be another explanation?

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