Thursday, August 27, 2009

What did he say?

I was just re-reading my Italian post, and realised that I had not provided an English synopsis for my rather significant (no really, hundreds... LOL) number of English language speakers. The post is about traffic and courtesy, or rather lack thereof, that I have noticed since coming back from my recent vacation in the US.

Now, as a European, I realise that it is my duty to complain about America. That's what we do! But one plus week of riding back in Rome, notwithstanding the fact that the city is almost deserted for August break, has me disgusted. The roads are in horrible shape, the way people drive is downright dangerous (especially for pedestrians and cyclists!) and there is litter everywhere. Maybe it's the big city mentality, but people simply are not courteous to others.

The exact opposite to my experience in South Carolina. The road infrastructure was fantastic, there was little or no litter by the roads (and Americans have volunteer adopt-a-highway programmes - something that is completely foreign to the Italian mentality), most drivers were quite courteous and extra cautious when passing me. It was a real pleasure to ride in the US.

I don't know if I was simply very fortunate, if Aiken is actually a cycling hotbed and everyone rides (if they do, I did not run into the cycling hordes), or if I have some kind of 'foreigner: be polite to him' mark that was secretly placed on my cycling jersey that all Americans take heed of.

So, as an Italian I am a bit sad and annoyed by this state of affairs, which is, unfortunately representative of the 'state of nature' which we Italians seem to have accepted here (at least in Rome).

Oh well. Time to get excited about another ride. No matter how others act.


  1. See here I thought you were just rubbing in that new ride of yours in a whole diffent language.

  2. See, you underestimate me. Occasionally I can be a good, polemic Italian!

    We love to complain! ;-)