About That Rain

1 Feb


Yesterday Rome received between 90-150 mm of rain, depending on what source you read, and Rome’s average rainfall for the month of February is 20.5 mm. I’m no math major, but if you figure that’s less than 1 mm per day on average in a month, well, um, that’s like more than 100 times more rain than usual in one day. Right?

So, yes—it rained yesterday.

Here are some pictures of the flooding.

And, in other news: while I was looking for a slideshow for you guys with pictures of the rainfall, a teensy-weensy hyperlink caught my eye. “ATAC driver with woman.” Oh, no. I had to find out more.  I drifted over to grainy snapshots. Grainy snapshots are even better, right?

This has nothing to do with the rain. Consider it a bonus gift with your free purchase.

So, apparently the other night a driver of our fine public transport company here in Rome was driving a night bus line with only his left hand on the wheel. That’s because his right hand was caressing his “female companion” who was sitting on the dashboard of the bus. Of course the article described her appearance: “tall, blond, short skirt and heeled boots.” (I was a bit disappointed as I was really rooting for it to be “short, dumpy, ankle-length sack dress and sensible shoes.”) Passengers reported that he was driving purposely slow to catch all the red lights so that he’d be free to make his moves. The headline on this one says “Scandal and Fear on the N2 line.” Scandal! Fear!

File in the “only in Rome” category. They quote a German exchange student saying he’s never seen anything like it. (You mean in Germany they don’t do these things?) A mom was riding the bus with her 9- and 10-year-old children and said, “Only in Italy do things like this happen.

Well, I can’t speak for all of Italy, but, ATAC is definitely one-of-a-kind, that is for damn sure. With the magical power of the Interwebs, I was easily led to other recent ATAC misadventures. Like the driver who was driving with his elbows while talking on his cell phone, also reportedly dodging pedestrians while he zoomed through crosswalks and ran red lights. (The elbows is a bit much, but the dodging pedestrians is really part of the hiring test, I think.) Apparently in that case a 19-year-old student asked him if he could get off of his cell phone to concentrate on his driving, and his cordial response was, and I quote: “Rinse your mouth out before you speak.” -?!?- Um? Is that supposed to be an insult? Bad breath? Witty? You’ve got me there.

In any case, at least he wasn’t in a heated lovers quarrel. Did you hear the one about the driver of the 44 who was fighting with someone (the article says “presumably a woman”) on his cell phone in broad daylight at 8 am on Via Dandolo in Trastevere, and stopped the bus, got off to argue some more, and then got back on the bus and told all the passengers to get off? After which point he turned off the bus “in service” sign, changing it to “Depot” and then simply drove away, leaving his bewildered passengers on the sidewalk? Yep. It happened.

And, of course those of you who have visited Rome for any length of time will have most likely encountered one of the transport workers’ long weekends Friday union strikes, conveniently interrupted for a few hours in the morning and evening ostensibly to bring people to and from their places of employment (where they aren’t striking).

Oh, the fun, the odyssey of it all!

So, you know. It should come as no surprise that a torrential day of rainfall shuts this city down. We can barely get around this place on normal days, after all.


4 Responses to “About That Rain”

  1. frankieandgiuseppe February 1, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Fantastic collection of ATAC misadventures! I once got a driver who didn’t know the bus route he was taking so a support team of interfering old ladies and 20-somethings using google maps guided him to capolinea.

  2. Catherine February 1, 2014 at 4:06 pm #

    Loved this. I think Vicenza is positively tame by comparison. I mean, most people drive like that. Most bus drivers I’ve had seem to make it their mission to tip all the old ladies over. Badly brought up kids just will not stand up for them.

    Endless rain here too and in the Dolomites 2.5m of snow yesterday!

  3. essie February 1, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Thank you for sharing! Totally amazing! We had snow in the Deep South and you had record rain and flooding! Something angered Mother!


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