Thursday, March 15, 2007

Traffico, come vuoi!

This morning I noticed an aspect of Italian driving that I’ve probably never commented upon before. It had me laughing on the way to work as I think it’s one of the few things I haven’t tried to do, yet! No, it’s not about bad parking or driving the wrong way down a one-way street or ignoring traffic signals. I’ve been there, done that. That’s old news. It’s about doing all those described actions at once. Picture if you will, a car parked badly outside the local café (because, as I have mentioned before, you are allowed to park HOWEVER YOU LIKE if you are just getting a quick coffee or buying cigarettes). Now Cosimo has had his coffee but he is on a street heading south and he wants to go east. So what does he do? He backs out of the “parking space” and continues backing up a one-way street until he gets to an intersection and then proceeds to BACK INTO the intersection and swings the nose of his car around until he is now nearly facing the direction he wants to go and then shifts in first and ploughs through the intersection in the correct direction heading off to work. All the while ignoring the blaring horns and swerving cars that for some reason are surprised to see this. I have seen this many times and this morning I knew from the look on the guy’s face getting in the car, exactly what he was going to do and he didn’t disappoint. Sometimes the road is pretty clear so it seems a like reasonable action, other times, like this morning, they look like a salmon swimming upstream. It’s so funny…when you’re watching from the sidewalk!
I saw a related story in the news last night. A few months ago the Prodi administration did a good thing, maybe… They came up with a new form and procedure for reporting car accidents. It was meant to streamline things and make the insurance companies do their job. Well it seems this new procedure has set records for the number of accidents being reported and claims against the insurance companies. So a good thing for everyone may turn out to be bad for everyone. If these first few months are any guide, then claims will go up and so will the insurance rates.

Other news!!
I just noticed that Blogger has started a thing where all the photos that I've posted will be in a photo album in Picasa. Use this link:
Jeff in Puglia Picasa Photo Album
for now it's only newer photos but they are working on loading all the photos that I've ever used in the blog. I should add a link to it in the sidebar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff

Your driving and parking story reminded me of this hilarious flash video that compares life in Italy to the rest of Europe: