Apart from a couple of posts, I stopped writing here at the end of last summer.
I believe in positive thinking, and when things go pear-shaped the only way to go is humour. But finding things funny when they’ve got into a serious rut has become energy-draining. So should one just be in denial and write in a vacuum?
We just had national elections here in Italy last Sunday. One person out of six voted for the hard right – I shall demurely call them anti-immigration. A third voted for the grassroots populist party that’s making such a mess of trying to run Rome.
Here’s a short, very conservative overview of real life in The Eternal City – as opposed to tourist life: haphazard garbage pickup we’ve got used to, all things considered. Water shortage is under control, at least till the summer. We deal pretty well with bus and metro breakdowns you can rely on when there are no strikes, though the city transport agency will probably go bankrupt before the end of the year. Real estate laws were modified years ago, the municipal administration departments never adapted and have been hibernating ever since the populist Junta took over, so tens of thousands of would-be buyers/sellers are stuck in limbo, presumably for at least another couple of years.
Since our historic ten-centimeter snowfall two weeks ago, our cracked asphalt streets and roads have been in a state of even more dangerous disrepair in the whole city. They’re literally riddled with potholes often bordering on ravines. Statistics are one every fifteen meters, leading to over two-thousand car and moped accidents just in the last couple of weeks. Some three hundred trees have either given up the ghost right onto the roads, cars and pedestrians, or simply dropped their heavier branches on them. Either way, they haven’t been removed and are adding to the chaos.
Tweets and FB posts are rife with hilarious jokes about it all – Romans have seen it all. After all, their 2000 year history should serve some kind of purpose: it helps them react with a mix of cynical but usually very funny sense of humour. Check them out if you can navigate Italian.
Angst is running high, as the political party running this city are now claiming the right to run the country.
I want to stay sane, so I think I’ll take the high road (pun intended). I’ll go for the “writer in an ivory tower” view, and try to find other subjects to blog about from now on.
Photos: all irrelevant – 14thcountry