The worst thing that I've ever heard my dad say about the Scots is that we are the only nation that actually aims to live up to the stereotype of itself. (This is actually not a very terrible thing to say, given that all through our childhoods, every time he drove us over the border to visit my lovely English granny and aunties in the pretty town where he grew up, he had to put up with us making rude comments about how the air smelled bad now that we were in ENG-LAND.)
I suspect that my father is probably right.
With this in mind, I feel well qualified to comment when I see anybody of another nationality doing the same thing. I don't know if Italians actually aspire to it or if it's just that the stereotype is so obvious and therefore easy to spot, but anyway, in the spirit of jovial national rivalry rather than serious criticism (I don't really think the air smells worse in England either) I intend post about it on the occasions when I see it.
Like this morning.
I was walking to school this morning behind a family group consisting of a boy of about 12 who obviously enjoyed his pasta, his slightly younger brother, who looked like the kind of child who is never off the football pitch, and their mother.
They were going to school. I could tell they were going to school because of their massive schoolbags, which all Italian children take to school from the age of 5 onwards. They need them to put their playpieces in.
So, the boys had these massive schoolbags.
Which the mother was carrying. I looked for broken arms, broken legs and evidence of wasting diseases, but there were none.