Tuesday, 27 March 2007

whilst I would reject...

... the accusation that I'm just out here dossing about and having a good time (cheeky bastards know who they are) it's undeniable that a good time is being had.

On Saturday I went with my flatmates L & M to the local Thai restaurant, which is extremely good, and on to a local bar afterwards. When we staggered home after wine, beer & grappa di rosa at about 4am, L suddenly said, why don't we go to Viterbo to the hot springs? Well, why not? there's a spot where there are some pools open to the public and you can go in even at night. Some, er, stimulants later, and off we went. We arrived by 6, in time to watch the dawn from the hot water with a bottle of red. Home by 11am and off to bed. Happy days.

Of course in England I would never in a million years have consented to get in a car driven by someone clearly over the limit and drive for an hour and half. Nor would most people suggest it. And it's not to my credit, but I think other people living here would agree with me, that it's one of those things that one somehow grows to accept with time. Not least since you'd not have any sort of social life otherwise. I know that's no excuse and especially stupid, but that's how it is here, I'm afraid. Soberly and on reflection this worries me. Tipsily and watching the sun rise whilst lying in a natural hot spring surrounded by verdant countryside it was hard to care.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very true, in that I've experienced what you described about Romans/Italians driving pissed. Last year I was in Rome with a friend before heading to Germany for some football tournament, visiting said friend's cousin (50ish) in Ostia and sipping limoncellos until late at night when he decided to drop us off back in the city. He was obviously pissed and flew through cobblestone streets faster than Schumi breaking lap records at Monza. First thing my friend asked me when we arrived: "Were you shitting yourself?". No, I was just quietly waiting to be killed!
- AR

Anonymous said...

Princess did you get a ticket for Roma-ManUtd?
- AR

de vertalerin said...

It's all culturally determined, isn't it? - the risks that a given society deems acceptable or otherwise. I admit that, half way down your post, I thought 'Viterbo? How did they get there? They can't have driven in that state'. That was a conditioned reaction, because it is such an ingrained taboo in the UK (and in Belgium, too). On the other hand, no Italian would rashly expose himself to correnti d'aria the way even the most risk-averse Brits do.

Have the most terrifying memories of driving back through the Ligurian hills with your grandfather late at night, and him with at least two bottles inside him.

claude said...

As one of said cheeky buggers, I stick to my line on this. Mrs Newsome will be dispatched forthwith.

* (asterisk) said...

I am aware, of course, of the different attitude in Italy towards drink-driving. And I might add that it is one of the reasons that so many young people are killed on Italian roads year round, but especially over New Year. The problem is that it's often those that haven't been drinking who end up worse off. I think "older" people probably have built up enough of a resistance to the effects of alcohol that they are able to get away with it.

ginkers said...

It's one that I have often pondered too. Hundreds of people I know wouldn't dream of drink driving in the UK but will do so in Italy. Mind you, if you are stuck up a mountain with one taxi for the whole district what are your options?

I know, I know, stay sober...

de vertalerin said...

Well, now that you're safely back in one piece and no passers-by got mowed down in the process, I'm happy that you did it, because you'll always remember that night; it's what I call a Lucy Jordan moment.

("At the age of thirty seven, Lucy realised that she'd never/drive through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in her hair...")

A few moments like that and poor Lucy might not have gone quietly off her head.