Yes, it's an autocracy. Yes, the weather in July is reminiscent of a diner griddle during breakfast rush. Yes, there are eccentricities aplenty and occasional nuisances like the transitory creamed corn/fishy smell (which continues to come and go). And yes, nothing works quite exactly as one might expect (as my fellow scribes Suburban, Angry, and Jet Driver so eloquently attest).
But... right now, the evening weather is like the finest nights of summer in the south of France, we finally have a couple of decent bakeries, household help remains affordable and omnipresent - and this is the view on a weekend morning from an upstairs balcony of the Villa Muscato.
This whole expat thing can drive you crazy, but it has its moments.