Italy – the India of the West

After a 10 hour ferry from Greece, we reached the top of Italy’s heel at Bari. An announcement told us to head down to the car deck, so off we all went. To get to the lower deck though, we had to squeeze our way through trucks. The gaps between them were the width of my shoulders. To make matters worse the truckies were running their engines, making me feel like they could move and crush me at any moment. I ran through those trucks as fast as I could.

The weather was hot. The sun was pushing the mercury up to 30 degrees and the wind had vanished.

We set off through Bari where the roads were narrow and busy; cars were parked on either side and then other people would block the road and pull up with their hazards on. I must say, Italians are superb at parallel parking though, it’s as if they grease their cars and just slide in.

Contrary to my last comment, we’ve officially named Italians the worst drivers. They don’t indicate, they drive through red lights, they don’t give way, they drive on your side of the road and don’t budge – they are total bullies. Everyone is on their phone while driving, and we’ve seen kids in cars without seat belts on. It’s as if we’ve landed in Asia, there’s absolutely no knowledge or regard for safety.

Then there’s the mopeds; men in posh suits, leather shoes with tassels and Italian themed helmets constantly sped past us and dodged pedestrians. I absolutely hate it. It’s so stressful and everyone honks their horns; you can’t tell if it’s to wave at a friend of just to let everyone in the vicinity know that they drive like a twat.

As men overtake, they stare at us in disgust for actually driving the limit. They give us the same look one would give when they realise they’ve stepped in dog shit.

Talking of shit, they like to own dogs but not take responsibility for them and leave their turds along pavements. I really feel like saying something, or picking it up in a bag and saying ‘Bonjourno…I think you forget something…’ and just throw it in their face.

The men are total perverts; they gawp at anything without a penis. They have no shame staring, it really is similar to being back in India.

Italians don’t just talk, they shout. Yes, Italians are very enthusiastic but it sounds like their having arguments when their probably just talking about a nice new pasta recipe. If your hearing impaired then Italy would be a great place to retire to.

The public toilets don’t have seats or lids. Do they not wonder what the two holes at the back are for…to screw a goddam seat into! How many children do they lose down toilets in Italy? At least they have better plumbing than in Greece, which can’t handle anything larger than a postage stamp.

There were whiffs of sewage as we drove through Bari, I don’t know what it is about smells, but once I sniff something I can’t stop; ‘Cor, it stinks!’ ‘….still stinks’ ‘it’s still there…’ ‘open the windows!….close the windows!’ ‘have you shat yourself Craig?!’

The rubbish along the road sides is awful, we’ve seen a lot of rubbish since being in Eastern Europe; Greece was really bad, but Italy, really? They certainly don’t show that on the postcards.

Last but not least, the prostitutes. We drove a 20km stretch of road that had prostitutes at every pull out. If I thought it was bad in Bulgaria, it’s like a fresco version of Amsterdam’s red light district here. The women weren’t discreet at all; one wore a fishnet top with knickers, another was in a corset and knickers. Then as we continued along the road, a few of the women had little sheds! Brothel sheds! The ‘swankier’ ones had shipping containers or derelict houses and would sit at the entrance with spread legs. How is this allowed in Italy, a modern European country?

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