Romans, Go Forth and Vote!

24 Feb

Oh my God. Look at this:

2013-02-21 08.47.42

So here’s me, Little Miss Know-It-All, taking a picture of this sign posted on a shuttered storefront about a week ago, breezily walking by and thinking to my super-know-it-all-little-self “I’m sure I can come up with some snotty comment to poke fun at the store owner who’d post a sign on his business that says “Closed for Flu.” That’s kind of silly, isn’t it? Yes, it is.”

Fast forward to last Thursday night, when the Universe decided to show me just what it means to have to close your business for the flu, as I thrashed about all night battling a high fever and basically feeling like I was on the edge of death, or at least Dante’s vestibule of hell. Yes, folks, I was officially “Chiuso per Influenza” and let me tell you, this year’s flu ain’t no joke. I am just now emerging from my bed after 2 full days.

Can I tell you another reason why I love these handwritten signs? Because they almost always, pretty much inevitably, end up having some smart ass remark scrawled on them, in response to the main message. No exception here. Underneath the “closed for the flu” message, someone who is probably even more know-it-all than I am walked by and wrote “Why didn’t you get vaccinated?”

But, enough about the Raging Flu Monster of 2013. Let’s get on with the voting, shall we?

I don’t really have much to say (that’s particularly useful), except that I wanted to show anyone who comes from my home country (or any other country with less than like 30 different political parties), that voting here looks a *wee* bit complicated.

To answer your question—no, I will not be voting. I still have to finish applying for my citizenship, so there. Not like I’d vote if I had the chance to. Are you kidding me?

I found a paper left on a bunch of windshields by my apartment. It’s a “fac-simile” (I just love how in Italy they write it like that. I don’t know why. FAC-SIMILE. So old-fashioned) of a ballot. Now, this particular one is for Berlusconi’s party so you see that’s the symbol that’s highlighted. But what I really wanted to point out was just how super-duper fun an Italian regional election ballot is! I mean, let’s compare, shall we?

U.S. presidential election ballot:


Pretty straightforward, no? Black and white, two political parties, check the box, go drink a beer and celebrate. Not much to it.

Italian regional election ballot:


Weeeeee! Kind of makes you want to do a jig, no? I mean, so colorful! All kinds of little round symbols and pictures. A little hand showing where you’re supposed to actually write in the name for the candidate (this I don’t really understand but it’s fun). You get to make X’s on the pictures, and write things, I mean honestly people, voting in an Italian election is, well, it’s like a microcosm of Italy compared to the U.S., is it not?

It’s like the difference between Mr. Arnold Grummer being inducted into the Paper Industry Hall of Fame at the Radisson hotel (97 views, and he makes the questionable decision of revealing during his acceptance speech that he’s recently been diagnosed with lung cancer – hello, killjoy!) vs. Roberto Benigni accepting the Oscar win (it’s all about fun).

God bless Italy. Happy voting. And happy Oscar weekend too!


5 Responses to “Romans, Go Forth and Vote!”

  1. chillcat February 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Well it only took me four and half years to do my citizenship papers (my local prefettura suggested I go to Somalia to get my criminal check cert as I used to live there years ago – umm, there was no government??) but I struggled through to the other side as I was raising Italian citizen kids. Now we are three voters in this household so that’s three against Berlusca!!

  2. Un'americana a Roma February 24, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    Ha that’s so classic — the whole “go to Somalia” thing. Totally Italian buropazzia.

    Wow, three against Berlusca. Honestly I am baffled … it’s like when Bush kept getting elected. One wonders, who votes for this man? Oh well, it takes all kinds to make the world go round!

  3. simcek February 25, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Oh don’t be too sad about Berlusca leaving (if he ever will): he’s soon to be replaced with another comedian-turned-politician…
    You can never get bored with the Italians can you?

  4. Diana Mahmoud February 26, 2013 at 2:27 am #

    Italy is the best–more colorful money, more colorful voting ballots, and Berlusconi (who I loved during the Bush years because, as an America, I could always look to him, hold my skulking self a little higher, and think “At least, we don’t have the worst leader.”

  5. rickzullo February 28, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    I love those hand-written signs, too. And given the timing, I’m considering giving the writer the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it was merely a misspelling: instead of “Chiuso per Influenza” perhaps he meant to say, “Chiuso per AFFluenza!” Cosa ne pensi?

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