giovedì 6 dicembre 2007

The price of furbo

I knew it! I knew when I parked my car on the pavement last night that some idiot would come along and block me in this morning without thinking about it. And that's exactly what happened! For the FOURTH TIME in as many weeks...
The problem is that on a Wednesday evening in my street you are forced to park on the pavement as the street cleaners pass during the night and give you a fine if you are on the road. That means that people who arrive early on Thursday morning simply park alongside, blocking in those cars still on the pavement. Do they not look? Do they not think? Are they not aware that, unless you drive Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, you are simply not able to sprout wings and hop over obstacles in order to get your car out???
And so, in an attempt to manoeuver between the offending vehicle and an unfortunately-placed lampost, despite the enthustiastic attempts of passers-by to guide me out, I still managed to end up with a king-sized scratch down the side of the back passenger door. In the end, a mechanic from the nearby garage came to my rescue and, after much shunting backwards and forwards, the car was out.
Arriving at the office very incazzata indeed, I recounted the story of the inconsiderate parking to an Italian colleague, whose reaction was to shrug and say "That's just the Italian way. It's like when we jump queues or red lights - we don't think about the danger or the annoyance to others. We just have to be first. We have to be more furbo than the next person".
'Furbo' is a word that comes up a lot in Italy. It literally means 'sly' or 'cunning', and is considered a positive attribute to have. You're furbo if you can find your way around having to pay a fine, without getting caught by the authorities; you're furbo if you succeed in pushing your way into the supermarket queue; you're furbo if you jump a red light and therefore avoid the chaos left behind for all those other suckers to endure. Bravo! Well done, you're furbo!
The problem with this attitude to life is that it tends not to consider the consequences of a person's actions, or the way in which they might affect others. In Italy, the general impression seems to be that if you don't try and outsmart the next guy, he will outsmart you.
So quick - grab that parking space before someone else gets it (don't worry about the fact that you're blocking a driveway); push the old granny out of the way to get to the front of the queue (you don't want an old granny to beat you to it, surely??!!); run the red light to avoid a 2-minute wait (nevermind the lady with the pushchair on the crossing - she'll soon realise you're just being clever and happily jump out of your way...)
Moral of the story?? DON'T BLOCK ME IN!!!!!!!

5 commenti:

katerinafiore ha detto...

Hilarious!! That sucks about being blocked it..terrible annoyance!! I love that word Furbo...thanks for introducing that me! Hopefully your departure from home tomorrow will be less stressful....ciaooooo

KC ha detto...

The emphasis on furbizia here really breaks my heart because I think you can't have a truly civil society without trust. But I have to admit that I find myself becoming furba in some things...

Emmina ha detto...

Unfortunately you end up resigning yourself to the old saying "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" when you live in a place where you either push yourself forward or get trampled on. It goes against my nature, but if you don't do it you seem to get nowhere... The queue at the deli counter is another example - either shout "I'm next!!" very loudly, or stand there all day...

Kataroma ha detto...

I agree with KC - that's why there is no civil society here. No one trusts anyone else (apart from members of their own family but even then they're always fighting and suing eachother). That's one of the many reasons I find living here very hard and stressful. :(

Claudia ha detto...

I can perfectly understand how 'incazzata' you were!
there are many Italians who don't like all these 'furbi'too, and stand in a queue without pushing the old granny out of the way!
I do not agrre with your collegue, that's not the Italian way, not as far as I'm concerned!

I hope you find better people to change your mind!