Monday, November 03, 2003

I can’t drive. Growing-up in inner-city London there’s no need to. I’d like to be able to now though; I may learn next summer. One or two Italians have suggested I learn here; it’s good to see they have a sense of humour. It’s dangerous enough being a pedestratian that’s still not used to looking the other way when crossing the road; I’m not gonna start directly involving myself in the daily fight for road space.

I was in the car with Maurizio, my landlord, a few days ago. Driving around the narrow streets of Veronetta he began to tell me how he’d received a couple of fines for jumping red lights. He then proceeded to pick the fines up off the dashboard, talking and driving as he did so. And of course, being Italian, his conversation is all arms and gesticulation; “Now, how much was this one? €60? [opens envelope, reads letter, does difficult left-hand turn] Oh no, only €40”. We were heading at some speed towards a blind corner with a set of lights. Suddenly, as we were about to cross the junction, he slammed on the breaks, just saving us from a horrible death at the hands of a Fiat Punto. “Ah, that light must have been red”, says Maurizio, whilst reversing back the few yards to where we should have stopped.

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