Roman traffic and everyday things

IMG_1300Roman traffic is not to be believed.  I don’t think I can adequately describe how bad it is, but I’ll give it a shot.  First, you have to understand that traffic signs, lane lines, and even lights are mere suggestions, often to be ignored completely.  It isn’t uncommon to, in the course of one block, straddle lane lines, drive up the wrong side of the street, and even hop onto the sidewalk if that’s more expedient.  It seems the goal of every vehicle is to claw its way in front of the vehicle in front of it.  It’s like a wild game of leap frog.

To do this, the cars never follow along behind the car in front.  Instead, they drive helter skelter all over the road and when they have to stop, it looks like they’ve been scattered at all angles across the road.  It’s not uncommon to have three cars in front when there are only two lanes.  Just as likely is one car in front that straddles all the lanes.

Imagine the traffic pattern at passenger drop-off at MacCarran Airport, only the traffic is going as fast as it can.  Throw in a bunch of Vespas that dart and weave through the cars and pedestrians who think nothing of just stepping off the curb whenever the mood strikes, expecting all traffic will stop for them.  Then, just to make it interesting, consider that some of that traffic is trying to turn right or left and they’re making those turns from the far lane where they have to cut across all lanes of traffic.  Of course, almost every cab driver we’ve had so far was also texting furiously during our entire drive.

Oh, you also have to know the roads are filled with traffic circles, public squares, narrow alleys, and ancient roads that curl around willy-nilly.  No wonder Romans make great Grand Prix drivers.

I’m always curious about how other cultures manage the details of their lives.  So, here’s the scoop.

First, if you want the electricity to work in your hotel room, you have to put your room key in the slot by the door.  Power is expensive, so this is a way to conserve it.

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Abby suggested we install this in her room since we’re constantly complaining about her not turning off her lights.  : )

Next is the bathroom.  The toilets are different but the Italians may have solved the seat-up-or-seat-down controversy.  Also, the shower is hand-held, but there isn’t much of a barrier to prevent the rest of the bathroom from being drenched.  It requires extreme self-control!

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The flush is on the wall above it. You can choose a regular flush or an industrial sized flush : )

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Here’s our tiny little half wall in the shower.  Maybe Italians take baths, not showers.  That would explain a lot.

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