Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inconsideration galore

I always feel so lucky to live in Rome when the International Rome Film Festival rolls around. Even though some of the films in the line-up will be in the theaters in a matter of weeks, there's something about the festival vibe that I just love.
This year I narrowed my selection to 5-6 films. I scoured the website to make sure I knew when, where, and how. I even bought some tickets online thinking I was going to be soooo ahead of the game. Not! In a normal place you'd buy tickets online and that would be it, you'd be good to go. Not here, my friends. Oh nooo, far too easy. First, you buy the tickets online (paying a surcharge of something silly like 80 cents per transaction), which was quite the task in and of itself. As with most Italian websites, it's not very user-friendly or logical. You get an email confirmation which you have to print out and THEN take it to the ticket counter at venue to pick up the actual tickets (and as I discovered, this often entails waiting in a long line). Oh, one more thing: they suggest going to the venue a few hours in advance to pick up the tickets so you don't get stuck in a line and miss your screening. So why the hell bother to buy tickets online if I end up having to go to venue early to pick up the tickets? At that point I may as well just go to the venue and buy the tickets a few hours earlier and save myself the 80 cent surcharge, no? Makes no sense to me... Things are always more complicated than they need to be in this country.

Anyway, this afternoon I had to go pick up my tickets for a late screening at Metropolitan, can we say royal pain in the ass? I get there and the ticket counters aren't open. My bad, I didn't read the fine print which said they open at 4:00PM. Luckily Via del Corso offers plenty of entertainment so I wander around and end up spending money I shouldn't have. I go back to the theater at 3:45 PM and there is already a line. I get in it and watch as a CRAZY line starts to form behind us- extending from the theater doors to the other side of the street, blocking people, bikes, and cars from passing. At one point a garbage truck was trying to pass by so people had to move aside... so being the logical person I am, I can't help but think- why don't we bend the line so we're standing on the sidewalk and not in the middle of the street? I suggest it out loud to the horde and what do you think they said? Come on, humor me, try to guess. Asshole #1 starts chuckling as if I'd just suggested he go to the bar and buy everyone in line a cup of hot cocoa. Asshole #2 says: "Who cares? The theater will open soon and we'll go in soon". Yeah, not quite... there are about 100 people in line blocking the street and I highly doubt that as soon as the theater doors open the line will magically disappear in 3 seconds. Asshole #3 (note: all middle aged Italian men) says: "Well who cares, it's a pedestrian area". And just like that, my dreamy state of "I'm-so-lucky-to-be-in-Rome" vanished and I was oozing with hate for Italians, or rather Romans. They have NO consideration for others. Since we're all blocking the street, pedestrians can't even get by, they have to push through the line, bikes are ringing their bells like crazy trying to get through, and the occasional vehicle (police, taxi, etc) has to inch forward at a snail's pace before the line breaks. Why is it so hard for them to see this and take a small step to prevent the chaotic buildup? IS it really that hard to take 5 steps to the right and get on the sidewalk, you lazy fools?
I get my ticket and peer back outside only to see an even longer line of people blocking the street and can't help but think- you're such inconsiderate assholes, no wonder why this country is stuck in a rut... you people just don't care.


Anonymous said...

Holy moly.

The fact is, any expat living in Rome is going to look like a rat bastard if they complain about it to others.

But it's true -- it's wildly frustrating living here at times. Many Romans truly are inconsiderate. If there wasn't beautiful buildings and ancient ruins Rome would have no tourists. Hell, it's even hard finding decent restaurants with consistent good food and service.

But, like most expats, we wouldn't trade it for the world (except maybe Paris).

Romerican said...

I hear you, I can't help complaining but at the end of the day, I heart Rome (most of the time).

Piccola said...

I love reading your posts. They make me laugh although if it were me in the situation, I'd be pissed too! There are times when I think my fidanzato and I should just live there but when I read your posts, I think, maybe not! I have been to Rome twice and I love it, of course I was stiffed by taxi drivers and such but I still think it's a beautiful place. I like it a lot more than Milano, where Ale is from. A part of me would still like to experience life there sometime though. For now, I will live vicariously through expat blogs like yours :-)