This late afternoon, for a few minutes, I forgot I lived in Italy. As I was preparing and stretching for my long along the river, I noticed a car right in front of me with two women talking inside. Nothing wrong with that, except the car was stopped in the regular lane – with lots of ample parking space right where they were stopped. All the cars coming up behind them were being forced to swerve around them, causing slowdown in the general flow of traffic.
So I forgot where I was and stopped minding my own business as I usually do, thinking maybe they don’t realize they are parked wrong. Anywhere else, or at least back in the parts where I am originally from, the person would be abashed and say “oh gosh, didn’t realize, let me move out of the way”. Not in Italy, not in Florence. So I went up to them, the window was down and said “maybe you haven’t realized you’re in quite in the middle of the road, seeing as there is space maybe you could move the car further in and continue talking without a worry” or something to that effect. The lady driver’s reaction: well now that you’ve told me I’ll just stay right where I am. Okay dokey – made no difference whatsoever! I just turned around and went back to my stretching, just giving them both exasperated glances. They kept on talking another few minutes, with traffic still going around them.
These Italians, they really do seem to live in their own small personal world, with the rest of the world revolving around them!