I have to say I'm getting annoyed with this idea many folks have back in the States that I sit around all day chilling.
I would like to see them deal with Municipio #1 (Centro Storico) Comune when getting their residency, try to get a driver's license, learn a new language after the age of 30, live in an apartment the size of most of their kitchens, deal with smelly BO on the bus (I know when you're a tourist or a selling roses you have been out all day walking but man please have some compassion for your fellow human beings), random strikes, etc.
I'm not on vacation. I do work. Hard. Writing might not seem like a "job" but it is. I do it 24/7. And so far this year I've earned exactly $0 from it. So yes I get a little defensive about people thinking writing is not work. I mean just because I can write an e-mail and half the movies released by hollywood suck doesn't mean anyone can be a screenwriter. It is a skill, a craft and it helps to have to some talent. There are some hacks out there but even they have to know structure.
People don't sit around and say, "yeah I can direct", but I can't tell you how many people have said/say to me "I would write movies if I had the time." Thats like me saying I could be Miuccia Prada or Karl Lagerfled because I can reattach a button to a blouse.
Has this happened to other expats? Do acquaintances back home think your life is one big Hollywood movie filled with days of doing nothing other than drinking wine/eating cheese/sitting on the beach etc.?