Thursday, September 18, 2008


1) How happy am I that the summer is FINALLY over? (Answer: unbelievably happy)

2) Just came across this website which lists farmer's markets throughout Italy. The ones in Rome aren't exactly centrally located but I may try to check one out eventually. But I have to say, some market stands at Testaccio are essentially run by farmers. In fact, they're the ones who usually charge less- most produce (which is strictly seasonal) is 1.00 euro a kg and quite tasty.

3) Yesterday while standing in line at the tabaccheria to send a fax... You may be thinking: who the hell sends faxes in 2008? I DO- not by choice but because my Fastweb saga is still not over and the only real way to get in touch with them is via letters or fax. Ridiculous huh? Nice to know that Italy's biggest telephone/Internet provider is so behind the times. Anyway, I'm in line and there's an elderly lady in front of me mumbling to herself... not in a crazy way but rather in a "I'm so fed up I don't know what to do anymore" way. Her story: she had been on a waiting list for 4 years to get a knee operation at San Giacomo hospital, it was finally her turn and guess what? The hospital closed down. So now she has to start the request process all over again. It broke my heart to see the desperation and frustration in her eyes. She didn't know who to turn to, where or if she could complain, she's yet another victim of this fucked up public healthcare system.

4) Is it just me or has the number of cars in Rome increased threefold??? WTF! I don't remember there being this many cars before the vacation exodus. Twice yesterday I had to get off the bus and walk because we were stuck in traffic for ever. Argh... it could also be due to all the roadwork they've decided to start doing in the center of Rome in September. Nice planning, guys! Just a suggestion for next time: consider doing it in August when the city's empty and so are the roads, it would make for a much better work environment for you and a more livable city for us.

the end


Leanne in Italy said...

There are more cars I think, but there are road blocks on every main street so there is no where for the traffic to go. It took me about 5 hours (ok not quite...but a long time) to get from termini to Piazza Navona, I walked half the way as it was quicker then sitting on the non-moving bus.

I think the Romans spent their holidays buying new cars!

Monika said...

Your love didn't last long (ie the love from your last post!).

How sad for that lady :(

ps Florence is also a mad rush of cars lately.

Miss Expatria said...

Man, paying for city road workers in August... it'd be the most expensive traffic project in history.

I too had an interesting fax experience, though not nearly as sad as yours. FAXES. WTF? I felt like I was in 1998 all over again.

Romerican said...

Leanne- Yeah! It took me over an hour to get from Termini to Trast, I ended up getting off the bus & walking at one point.

Monika- Hahha! Love/hate...

Miss E- Not so sure it would cost them more because the comune doesn't technically go on vacation in august. even so, it would be worth the extra bucks... they're digging up via nazionale, via del tritone, piazza venezia, etc and the traffic is INSANE. Worse than it ever has been and everyone is suffering the consequences. It's near impossible to get around unless you walk.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Sorry to hear your Fastweb saga is still going on!!

I noticed the traffic too. Normally I don't have to take the bus anywhere, since I work at home and most of my work meetings are walking distance (sometimes a long walk but too bad). However for the last four days I've been attending a workshop held near Pz. Fiume. The area around Pz. Repubblica is insane.

lomalinda said...

I feel your pain. I have to cross the intersection of via Nomentana and Corso Trieste every morning on the way to school with my daughters. The traffic at the intersection has always been bad, but now it is absolutely hideous. We not only take our lives in our hands trying to cross that intersection, but even on the supposedly safe sidewalk as countless motorini blaze at high speed down sidewalks full of children. The intersection (and sidewalks) really should be monitored by at least three of the six vigili who are all at the next intersection.

We had our own battle with Fastweb - only took a few YEARS to resolve and that was even with Adisconsum's help.

Delina said...

LOL. I'm so happy that summer looks done with too.

I was debating moving to Fastweb you know then I thought of you and thought better of it.

Cars are up threefold in Naples too. I was so used to cruising along during July / Aug, now I find myself driving to work in 1st.

Chandi said...

Hi Romerican!
Good to meet you via my blog! I am so glad to know about your blog and I can't wait to read through it.

I really enjoy reading the stories of ex-pats living over there. I can relate b/c I lived in Florence once in 1985 and again for 2003/04. I was only visiting Florence this summer when I had the medical thing which you read about. I am wondering about moving back over there. It's a hard call because I know what I adore about Italy, and also know that it is not easy, in many ways, to live there.