I am currently in Lecce with a group of people traveling around Southern Italy. The group is from all over the U.S. While wandering around, I ran into two women from the group who hail from a very large southern state. They told me they loved Italy and had been many times.
We have a group dinner this evening and one of the courses is octopus salad. They told me they were not eating it. My conversation with one went like this.
Woman: I won't eat octopus. In fact, I don't think the food in Italy is very good. I like American food.
Me: You don't like Italian food?
Woman: I like Italian food the way they make it at home.
Me: At the Olive Garden? (I asked sarcastically expecting a look or comment.)
Woman: Yes, they make the best Italian food.
I didn't know what to say. I just looked preplexed.
Woman: We've been here a week and I miss American food.
We changed the subject and started talking about flying home. She had a few connections and didn't know when she had to go through immigration and customs. I told her where she would be leaving Schengen. She had never heard of Schengen.
I kid you not.