As I struggle along with my Italian here where I'm surrounded by it, I realize what a comfort, what an absolute joy, the boring, the conventional, the formulaic, and the repetitive are. Bad detective shows and their stern, furrowed-browed heroes and bumbling sidekicks? Awesome. I've seen 'em all before. Glossy women's magazines with their rhapsodies over lipstick and dollops of personal-life wisdom? Even better. I love commercials and print advertisements, the stupider the better. (Really bad not-quite jokes? I get them! It's fantastic!)
As Cosimo has observed, the people you'd most avoid if they were speaking your native language--the loud, slow-talking, pedantic ones--are those you're most grateful for when you're trying to work up your language comprehension. Whining children? Pretty great! That guy opining loudly to his buddies outside the tabbachi shop? Also great! Ditto for old ladies narrating their purchases aloud at the supermarket, couples breaking up in public, and angry dudes with bad cell phone connections shouting the same sentence over and over. We went to mass at a local church (itself awesome, since the formulae are the same and lots of the terms are cognates and/or Latin loan words), and I briefly thought I'd been granted the gift of tongues when I was able to follow most of the sermon. But no: the priest was just a tedious young guy, fresh from the seminary, giving a deliberative, repetitive, and essentially theological sermon. It was terrific.
I guess I look forward to the day when I dislike tedious Italians as much as I dislike tedious Americans and Britons. But for now I embrace them. Eloquent, original, and complex thinkers just ain't for me.