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Episodes

Episode 214: RUDE

7/16/2018
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Have you ever walked into someone’s house in Japan with your shoes on and had a room full of people laugh at you? (Katy has.) Have you ever traipsed into a room in an Italian home that has been freshly mopped and been given the evil eye by the lady of the house? (Tiffany has.) Part of living in a foreign culture is learning (often the hard way) that some things that are totally acceptable back home are, at best, a faux pas in your adopted country, and, at worst, a humiliating gaff. Picking...

Duration:00:23:17

Episode 213: IN-LAWS

7/9/2018
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The best thing about marrying an Italian? You’re automatically part of a big Italian family. The worst thing about marrying an Italian? You’re automatically part of a big Italian family. If you’re a regular listener to the show, you’ve heard Tiffany talk about (and sometimes complain about) her Italian in-laws for years—especially during those long months when she and her husband lived with them when in between apartments. This week, Tiffany’s mother-in-law, Luisa and father-in-law,...

Duration:00:27:52

Episode 212: ETHNICITY

7/2/2018
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Issues of race and diversity are on everyone’s lips and minds in the United States right now. But people in Italy are just starting to have these conversations. In a country where, until quite recently, everyone had a similar racial make-up, perhaps it simply wasn’t necessary until now. In an interview with our former intern, first generation Salvadoran American Estrella Gomez, we probe the issues facing an expat of color in a place that is just now getting used to its status as a country...

Duration:00:25:06

Episode 211: SIRENUSE

6/25/2018
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What happens when you say “no” to your destiny…only to discover that it brings you more joy than you could have imagined? This week, Katy interviews Antonio Sersale, son of one of the four founding siblings of the legendary Le Sirenuse Hotel in Postiano on the Amalfi Coast. From a young age, Antonio was groomed to take over the family business of running the hotel, but he resisted for many years, convinced that the life of a hotelier wasn’t for him. Then, one day he changed his mind....

Duration:00:27:10

Episode 210: CORRESPONDENT

6/18/2018
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After a transformative trip to India during college, Michael Maren realized that in order to feel fully alive, he had to go back overseas. He joined the Peace Corps after graduating and a series of chance events led him to Kenya, where he stayed for the next five years, teaching English, Physics, and Swahili at a local secondary school, and he later worked as an aid worker in both Kenya and Somalia. After returning to the States for graduate school, Maren eventually became a war...

Duration:00:39:26

Episode 209: REPURPOSE

6/11/2018
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This week, we hit the streets of Rome with our recording equipment to search for ancient artifacts or “spoglie” hidden in plain sight. Rome has been inhabited without interruption for over three thousand of years. A past like that cannot but leave its mark on a city. And if you keep your eyes open, the vestiges of Rome’s ancient past can be found around almost every corner. From the fluted Corinthian columns walled into the sides of nondescript buildings to the piazza that follows the...

Duration:00:30:16

Episode 208: DECAY

6/4/2018
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Rome is crumbling...just as it has been for centuries. But what does it say about us adopted Romans that we choose to live in a city's whose glory days are all in the past? Why do so many of us, who can't even use the excuse that this is our native land, choose to live here, often at considerable financial and professional inconvenience, despite how little it has to offer us? Why do we leave in frustration only to return again and again, as if it were "more familiar, more intimately our...

Duration:00:26:14

Episode 207: ARTIST

5/28/2018
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Katy interviews Samuel Webster, versatile artist, Australian expat in a small town in Italy, and host of Fool’s Paradise podcast. They discuss what it means to be an “artist.” Does adopting that title make you pretentious, or is it just an honest representation of your craft? What about if you practice numerous arts? Webster identifies as a writer, a photographer, a poet, a podcaster, and much more. But does practicing one art form take away from the others? If you qualify yourself as a...

Duration:00:44:04

Episode 206: RAIN

5/21/2018
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What does Rome sound like in the rain? Tiffany and Katy take a walk through the soggy streets of Rome, from Trastevere to Campo de' Fiori, capturing the sounds that you might not notice: raindrops falling in a puddle, water rushing through an underground drain, birds chirping as they seek shelter from the storm. As a seasoned radio producer, Katy hears sounds other people don't notice. Tiffany is just learning to. Join them on an aural discovery of Rome in the rain. Plus: they attempt to...

Duration:00:37:40

Episode 205: ENCOUNTER

5/14/2018
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Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** Sometimes a person comes into your life—just a chance encounter—and yet you never forget them. Maybe their impact is strong, maybe it's insignificant, yet for some reason, the memory of that person stays with you for the rest of your life. Katy and Tiffany discuss their own unforgettable...

Duration:00:30:01

Episode 204: ZODIAC

5/7/2018
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Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** Planning a trip to Rome? Use your Chinese horoscope sign as a guide to plan your itinerary. What animal are you? A snake, a dragon, a rat, a dog? Listen to episode 204 of The Bittersweet Life podcast to discover a Roman location that suits your personality perfectly. You might learn...

Duration:00:31:56

Episode 203: PRETENTION

4/30/2018
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Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** An overheard conversation between two American students in Rome causes Katy to reflect on the idea of pretension. Why do some expats—even those who have only lived in a place for a few months—tend to feel superior to tourists whose experiences are necessarily more superficial? And does it...

Duration:00:33:35

Episode 202: STATESIDE

4/23/2018
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Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** Katy and Tiffany reunite in Rome for the first time in two and a half years to kick of Season 5 of The Bittersweet Life. Tiffany talks about her recent trip to the States, including her book tour to LA and Seattle (during which she lost her voice!), her father’s celebration of life complete...

Duration:00:32:18

Episode 201: NICE

4/16/2018
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Traveling alone to Nice, France helped former public radio host, Steve Scher, overcome a long-held hangup from high school. Has traveling helped you shed a negative belief about yourself? Steve worked side-by-side with host Katy Sewall for 9 years at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle. Now they are both on a quest for discovery and wonder. The two friends meet-up in Seattle for today's long-promised episode. Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship...

Duration:00:32:58

Episode 200: LIVE!

4/9/2018
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We explore the concept of synchronicity live on stage in Seattle. We also take audience questions as we celebrate the 200th episode of The Bittersweet Life podcast and the release of Tiffany Parks' new book Midnight in the Piazza. VIDEO Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** SPONSOR! Reach expats and future expats living all...

Duration:01:02:49

Episode 199: TRADITION

4/1/2018
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When it comes to gender roles, are Italians more conservative than other parts of the world? If a Italian marries an expat are they non-traditional? That... and Italian Easter traditions! Are Italian Women really Unhappy? Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA **** SPONSOR! Reach expats and future expats living all over the world....

Duration:00:41:58

Episode 198: MICRO

3/25/2018
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Today we learn to write micro-memoirs. These are short stories that really capture the essence of an experience, sometimes in just one sentence. Whether you write a blog, post on Instagram, or just want to process the details of your day-to-day life in a new way, this show will give you fun exercises to try. Our guest is Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs. She's also the poet laureate of Mississippi. Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any...

Duration:00:38:01

Episode 197: BOOK!

3/18/2018
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Tiffany's first book, Midnight is the Piazza, is out! We talk about what it is like to achieve a long-held goal, and how to start writing if you want to but you're stalled. Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA Check out Estrella Gomez (*star intern) at La Casabloga **** SPONSOR! Reach expats and future expats living all over the...

Duration:00:33:07

Episode 196: RETURN

3/11/2018
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When you travel, do you always go somewhere new, or do you revisit the same places again and again? What personality factors determine whether you prefer novelty or familiarity on the road? Host Tiffany Parks thinks life is short and the world is big. Why wouldn't you try to see as much as possible? Host Katy Sewall prefers returning to already visited locations. Is Tiffany just a bolder traveler? Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere...

Duration:00:37:16

Episode 195: GUNS

3/4/2018
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How does violence in Italy compare to gun violence in the United States? We discuss guns, international gun regulations, and the privilege of living in less armed countries. Thanks to Stackry.com for supporting this program. Shop any US retailer and ship anywhere for less money. Bittersweet Life listeners get 10% off when you try it! Just use the coupon code: MANGIA LIVE SHOW IN SEATTLE! On Friday, March 16, 2018, we celebrate the release of Tiffany's book Midnight in the Piazza with a...

Duration:00:38:12