Monday, December 20, 2010

Traffic Ticket
Necessity is the mother of speaking Italian (or however that phrase goes).

The center of Lucca is an area pedonale/pedestrian area, however people drive through it all the time. Lately there have been Polizia Municipale flagging down cars by Piazza San Michele to check that they have the resident permit. But they are NEVER there at 8 in the morning. Never ever.

So this morning, after waking up shivering at Colle Verde--which is one of the most beautiful places in the world, but only works in the winter if you build a roaring fire--I race down to town in the rental car to open the windows to let out the poison Norman has sprayed in the apartment. I have two options, sit through the traffic on the ring road and go in through Porta Sant'Anna and hope to find a parking place then walk to the apartment, or zip through the deserted streets, park in front of the house, and maybe even pick up some foccacia from the bakery for breakfast.

When I am literally within a hundred meters of the apartment, who steps out from behind a truck to flag me down? The Polizia. When I roll down the window, every bit of Italian that I have absorbed in these last few months somehow magically comes poring out and I tell the whole story of the fleas and the exterminator and the pensione for the cats. I use the imperfetto. I use the conjuntivo! Some aspect of the story, or perhaps just my desperation, gets to the three of them and they end up waving me along with a gentle admonition to never do it again.
Which I won't. Ever. Never ever.

No comments: