This morning I had a blessed “che culo!” moment (see #29) in finding a parking spot in Trastevere in the “strisce blu.”
Want a little parking primer for Rome? Ok, here goes:
Strisce blu = blue lines = need to find a parking meter and pay, usually €1 – €1,20 per hour
Strisce bianche = white lines = free parking. Work it.
Strisce gialle = yellow lines = um, caution. You probably don’t have the right to park here. Unless you have a handicapped permit. Or maybe if you’re a doctor you could get away with it too. And I’m sure if you’re a politician it’s all good as well.
But what the hell should you do if they all intersect? Holy Lord. That might be an issue.
This morning as I was searching for a parcometro i.e., parking meter (and oh, BTW? don’t let a Roman tell you it’s pronounced “parCHImetro” as I promise you, it’s parCOmetro. I promise.), I saw a well-dressed guy in Ray-Bans looking around cluelessly. Poor guy. And he was cute. So I say: “Are you looking for a parcometro, too?”
He looks at me and goes, “No. Actually just trying to figure out what’s going on here. I can’t tell if I’m parked legally or not, because I don’t really know which lines I’m supposed to follow.”
Photographic evidence of said confusion-causer:
So, anyways, I turn to cute well-dressed Ray-Ban guy and go, “Wow. That’s a good one. Beats me. Once I got a ticket in this neighborhood for being parked in the blue lines but they said the blue lines were faded, and therefore it wasn’t a legitimate parking spot.”
I mean, what can I say? Take your chances, I guess.
He follows me to the
parchimetro parcometro (I’m sure he was using it as an excuse to talk to me more, even though he had to pay for his parking too, but still—humor me here) and we start chatting about how strange things are. He says what I’ve heard many Italians tell me before, so get ready:
“Mah! Quest’è l’Italia.”
Go figure. That’s Italy for you.
I wish I could have had his voice recorded. He says to me: “In Italia succedono delle cose MOOOOOLTO ma MOLTO strane…”
In Italy, really really strange things tend to happen….
It’s true. But that’s why I love it here. I return to the video game metaphor of life in Rome. Because that’s what it’s like. Living in Rome is like being a character in a video game. Each task is like something you have to do to clear the next level. Parking? Oh geez. Double-colored lines. What do you do? If you get back to your car without a ticket, bonus! Level 2! Where you must then confront the evil fire-breathing dragon, a.k.a. mean lady at the ASL office. Or post office. Or just about any public office. (Just make sure you do it quietly, for God’s sake!)
If I haven’t been scared off after eight years, well, I think you can safely say I’ve gone native.