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"But I dooooooooo care for you."

It's a good time in Staryan music: a tribute album to Cold Chisel is #9 on the album charts (it's a shame the line-up is largely woeful), Kate Ceberano's new album is #5 and the mighty Beasts of Bourbon have a new one out, which I gave the shirt off my back for. Well, actually I gave the money for the shirt off my back for; it was recorded with revenue from merchandise sales. Anyways, no-one reads this to hear about my disjointed taste in music.

There's no real news as such; another weekend, another train trip to Venezia; but I've been trapped (maniacal laugh) in Italia long enough to get a firm grasp on the general themes of the culture. They utterly love to break the rules. It's a national sport. Everyday I see three or four things that would get you a stiff fine elsewhere. The government has spent thousands on signs at train stations all over the country "It is strictly forbidden to cross the tracks" in multiple languages. This is droned over the PA ad infinitum, but the step down to the tracks isn't the chasm you see in other corners of the planet, it's about 10cm. The railway staff are setting the example by running all over the tracks in everywhich direction. (It's enlightening to translate the many multi-lingual signs. The English and Italian and French usually say "It's dangerous to do this", where the German simply says "Don't do it.") You see guys peddling down the street, sans helmet, with their girlfriend standing on the parcel shelf at the back, hands on his shoulders. They have been seen to give high fives to each other as they pass by. The pubs are full of folks who would fail to provide proof of age, if there is even a limit. Luciano, my boss here, is quoted as saying "We know the rules, and we know the value of the rules". I do, however, see many an ambulance here.

Italians, as a people, also love dogs of all shapes and sizes (but mostly big ones). This is awesome. Cleaning up after these dogs, however, would mean following the rules. The consequences of this are less awesome.

My Italian has reached a level that I can deliver a fairly sophisticated message in a comprehensible fashion. This leads to the problem that people now assume I am fluent and after answering my question reply with a string of sounds I just have to nod my head at. This middle ground has the potential for more awkwardness than speaking nil.

Comments

paulfraser
May. 11th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
I haven't really tried to foist it on 'em. I probably should; some of them play their junk all night long outside my window.

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