Friday, 10 October 2008

Living Dangerously: The Perils of the Italian Pedestrian

I was nearly hit by a car. Not just today, nor yesterday, but almost every day since I have been here. I thought that 'bad Italian driving' was little more than an overblown stereotype. How wrong I was!

Just two days ago, when Ludovica and I were taking the children on a walk around the Piazza Vittorio Veneto, the most despicable event so far occurred. A lady with a cigarette hanging loosely out of her drooping mouth and a cellular phone to hear ear came screeching up in her blue piece of scrap metal to the pedestrian crossroads where we were standing, waiting to cross. Knowing that crossroads are little more than a suggestion to stop, we moved out into the road, making it known that it was our turn to go. (After all, if you don't make a move, you end up waiting forever!) This maniacal woman, however, obviously didn't care that she could end up with a life sentence in prison for running down three children and two ladies, and charged forward, leaving only a hair's bredth between her car and little Anna's feet. Both Ludovica and I cursed out to the woman as she tore by, but to no avail. It appeared that her cellphone was permanently attached to her ear, and no one, not even three helpless children crossing the street could divert her attention from it.

The sad thing is, this woman is the rule, not the exception in Italy. It is a shame because Torino would be a much lovelier place to live if people would just have a little more consideration for others while out on the road.


Anonymous said...

Be really careful Heather. Part of the experience I am sure but you need eyes in the back of your head. dad

heather-in-italia said...

Don't worry dad...*rolls eyes* I look all ways before I cross the street.

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