Italians drive fast…Nothing else they do is FAST!

Posted on January 25, 2011

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Dear Biglietto,

If I wanted to purchase a “monthly” bus ticket (biglietto), which I considered, I should have tried it last month. I don’t even know where to purchase one but the place that sells the  bus tickets is called a Biglietteria, I do know that much. Now that I have 26 years, the price goes up for old people! It will no longer be only 30 Euro it may be closer to 45 Euro…Forget about it! Under 25 is the “student” price.I prefer to walk and when I do need to take the bus it is only a Euro each time I use it. Too expensive=Troppo caro! Forget about school after my class ends as well. I learned how to survive in Rome, so far and the rest will be picked up along the way. It is WAY to expensive to keep taking courses plus the only male in my class of 4 has overpowering cologne that I refuse to pay to smell for another month. No grazie! Seriously, I am super sensitive or he must go through 2 bottles a week it is insane and all us girls really can’t breathe! It has truly become a distraction for me. Non mi piace=I don’t like! 

Driving around this city has started to not seem as crazy to me. Not me personally driving, just riding in the car. Parking is something in its own and I think it is very entertaining. Nana has a little tiny 4 door Hyundai and I love it when we are in her tiny macchina (car). The streets are so narrow and bumpy it is always fun to be in the car; prior I was terrified and holding my seat like I was watching a horror movie! There are so many motorbikes and scooters zooming past and cars honking, people yelling and brakes slamming…I cannot imagine driving here but perhaps one day. In case of emergency? Maybe I have also become more observant because I know my way around better and can actually observe other drivers more closely, opposed to trying to remember what street we are on. There are many one way streets and “flipping a bitch” is the best part to witness. Everytime I am in either Nana’s car of the family Jeep Grand Cherokee I feel straight out of Austin Powers! We all know and love the part when he is putting that little cart in reverse, then drive, then reverse, then drive…! That is exactly how it is done here in Rome. Back and forth and back and forth. When we are in the Jeep it has a sensor and  outside camera when ANYTHING is too close it “beep!beep!beeps!” so it is even more entertaining watching the sensor and camera do what it does best. I prefer to ride in the passenger seat and avoid the back seat (sitting bitch) at all costs. Never noticed until now that “flipping a bitch and sitting bitch” are most feminine when speaking of a car. Derogatory, maybe but I think it makes sense. Americans don’t have maschile and feminille words but I would like to take the time now to share that a car must be feminine! Macchina is feminine in Italian…When I take the bus, mostly at night, I again prefer to sit “shot-gun”. There is always the single seat right in the front and I like it because I can see where we are heading plus I think fewer people notice you while seated here. The other day I became distracted and missed my stop by 2 and had to back track. Anther thing that I have to remind myself is that sometimes the middle doors are the only ones that open when the bus stops. i still have not figured out why all three entrance/exits don’t open EVERTIME we stop but it is best to be in the middle of the bus once your stop nears to ensure that you get off in a timely manner. In a world of Italians taking their time with EVERYTHING else, driving is the only thing that is done FAST and HURRIED here. In fact it was only yesterday that I was getting some money out from the ATM and my friend L and I were taking our time and talking during my transaction. I did not push the button to finalize the withdraw and the Italian behind us was tapping his foot and sighing loudly towards us. I turn around to look at him and realize that a line has formed. He tells me in both a mix of English and Italian that I have to push the YES key to end my transaction and move on. First time I have seen an Italian in a rush in 50 days! So far Italians take forever doing everything except pulling money out the bank and driving. Going nowhere fast.  Maybe people are driving fast to the bank right now.

I have come to love and appreciate Smart Cars more and more when I see them. They are not only adorable but are indeed a very smart car for this area. Tiny and can park almost anywhere! Motorbikes truly are parked ANYWHERE they want. Streets, corners, sidewalks and squeezed in behind and in front of cars. There are not many rules about parking. Cars can be parked up and down the street in whichever direction was easiest to shimmy in to the space. When it looks like such a mess of cars it actually makes the most sense.

On Tuesday and Friday the boys have Judo right after school from about 4-630. I usually bring a book to distract myself and hide from Mario Brothers. The time goes by pretty fast and I enjoy the time to read. Usually the other Nana, I believe that it is S’s mother, she comes to say hello to the boys and brings special food and treats for us. Not to eat there but to have for dinner and always lovely special desserts. Today she brough some sort of “cookie” type that reminded me of really fancy funnel cake but 100x better! I cannot remember the true name, sorry, it is one of those “should have written it down” moments.

Nancie

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Posted in: When in Rome