Happy Saturday All!
It’s time we start collecting the unsolved mysteries of Florence. After living in a place, any place, for over a year, you start to notice things. You know, things like food options, window screens, and cars. Important things. Since we’ve now been here for some 16+ months, several puzzles have revealed themselves. Riddles that do nothing but elicit a continuous stream of questions. Questions that seem to be answer-less. Questions like…
#1: Why are there so few screens on windows in this city?
A city that hosts some 500,000 mosquitoes on any given day. I was once again pondering this strange phenomenon on my walk home from the gym yesterday. You see, it’s been chilly. But then yesterday we spiked to 78 degrees and it rained. And with this rain came the multitudes of mosquitoes that had to have been lying in some stagnant pool of water just waiting for their opportunity to overtake the airways yet again. Everyone had their windows open and all I could think of, after being barraged in the gym (try holding a plank successfully with 3 mosquitoes vying for your face) was, what does everyone have against screens?
Italians seem to swear by this magical potion called Vape. It comes in liquid form, it comes in stick form, and it probably comes in candle form. You plug it into the wall and lots of chemicals come out, keeping the mosquitoes at bay. We have one in our bedroom since that one little bugger always seems to find its way in and announce its presence right as you
start to fall asleep. But, in order to really eradicate the pests, you need one per room. Factor in the cost of refills for multiple tiny insecticide machines, the years of life you’re taking off by breathing in God knows what and the Italian love for the all natural and you get: confusion with a hint of disbelief. But still, no investment in screens and the price of stock for Vape rises.
#2: Why are there no real breakfast sandwiches?
Italians love sandwiches. They love eggs. They love cheese. They love toast. But…the breakfast sandwich just isn’t a thing here. You can get prosciutto and cheese on fresh bread. You can get a fried egg with some lettuce on a croissant. But I’ve never seen crispy prosciutto with some egg and cheese on toasted bread, all melty and delicious. Why? All of the ingredients are here. I’m pretty sure we could almost guarentee its safe success among the people. But no. No breakfast sandwich for you. And definitely no breakfast sandwich for me.
#3: How have I not seen 100 million motor accidents?
I thought people in RI, MA and NY drove recklessly. Hell, even the pedestrians in RI are crazy, crossing streets in Providence on busy roads, during busy times, without even looking both ways. But Italian drivers take the cake. Between buses, cars, SUVs, motorini and bicycles, I don’t understand how I’m not seeing 4 accidents per day. There are apparently laws that govern the roadways but I challenge you to see more than 5 people out of 60 following them at any given time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen a bus hit a motorino (everyone was ok), 6 old men pick up a car and move it so a bus could get by and a car hit another car while cutting it off and then getting mad at the other guy. But, that’s my list. There are things on wheels zooming everywhere, all the time. I sometimes don’t even feel safe walking on the sidewalk with headphones on because a motorino could come up behind me in its attempt to move through traffic more quickly. In fact, my research tells me that Italy has one of the highest road death tolls in all of Europe. But still, the number of accidents I’ve witnessed don’t even fill up one hand. Sometimes in the US I pass 3 accidents in one morning on the same stretch of highway. And we have 4 lanes to go about our business! Maybe our cars are bigger? Maybe Italian driving is better than I think it is? Maybe we’ll know next year when the new stats come out on driving across the world.
Until the next mystery,