Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crossing the Street in Rome

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, you will have to if you want to cross the street.

During my 9 day vacation in Rome it was day 3 when I was finally fed up waiting for traffic to stop for me at zebra crossings and so with no Italians in sight to follow I decided that I would be assertive and cool and just like the Romans I would start walking across the street and not wait by the sidewalk, I even turned to my husband said “you know what? I’m just going to walk, I’m walking… I’m walking… I’m not going to stop”  As the cars approached my husband hurried across (what not to do no.2) and I caught myself acting like a deer struck by the bright headlights of a car in the middle of the street, not knowing if I should run backwards or forwards, went forwards turned and went backwards then turned and ran forwards again (what not to do no.1), by then my husband was standing on the other side of the street looking at me with a huge grin on his face.

When in Rome, you will quickly realize that the endless stream of smarts, scooters, buses and cars don’t stop for pedestrians not even at zebra crossings and so the task of crossing the street is probably the scariest thing that will happen to you there. But it turns out there is a trick to it and although cars wont stop for you they will slow down and adjust their route for you.

Step 1: confidently step onto the street but watch out for scooters weaving between cars that might not see you.

Step 2: keep walking and keep calm, because cars adjust their route to it is important that you don’t stop or run.

Once you’ve mastered steps 1 and 2 you can do like the Romans and stride across the street cool and composed as cars and scooters buzz around you.


Jul said...

This is what my commute (a 20-minute walk through central Milan) used to be like. If I didn't step out in front of cars, I'd never get there! Used to terrify our visitors.

Keith said...

Sounds like the same rules for crossing the road in Hanoi. Wildest place I have ever been for crossing the road.