Sunday, September 03, 2006

Back from Vacation

The news yesterday reported that 3 million Italians returned from vacation this weekend and 15 million returned from vacation last weekend. Due to unforseen circumstances we stayed most of le ferie in Rome except for a week in Gaeta. The city was a ghost town and honestly, I really liked it that way. There was not much traffic, lots of parking spaces, and it was so quiet and calm compared to its usual activity.
Now that the holidays have come to an end Rome is abuzz again with scooters, car horns, and of course the occasional screaming spats from neighbors outside their window. In fact as we were lazily slumbering in bed this morning we abruptly ran to the window when we heard a woman screaming for dear life. We thought perhaps she was being mugged? murdered? needed medical attention? It turns out she wanted to park her car inside the neighbor's gated community because it was Sunday and the parking garage is closed. Three people in the community were yelling at her saying, excuse me, but we live here and this is private property. Picture an old man in wifebeater hanging out his window, a middle aged mother leaning over her balcony and a young professional on his balcony as well shouting over his bougainvillea.
Now this woman's response was superb. She didn't say excuse me, oh I'm sorry I didn't realize, or anything of the sort. She screamed back in her thick Roman accent "oooh, it's Sunday. I can park wherever I want!"
Maybe this is one of those "you had to be there" stories to appreciate the humor in this. Or maybe you have to live in Italy or perhaps Rome to understand this mentality but my husband and I could not stop laughing. And imagine the whole street coming alive with people peeking out their windows and stopping on the street to see what all the commotion is. Fortunately the woman ended up trying to find a parking space elsewhere and no major casualties were reported.


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