I went to the post office a few weeks ago, and while I was looking for a parking spot I noticed two cars kind of parked between the parking lines, kind of close to each other, but with just enough space in between them to fit mine. I slowly pulled in, careful not to touch them, and I stopped the engine. At this point I had to delicately open the car door in order not to dent the car next to mine and crawl out. While I went through all of these time-taking, attention-requiring procedures, I couldn’t stop thinking of how all of this is simply part of Italian daily life, and how much it is one of those things that most strikes outsiders’ point of view (Yes, these are the kind of things I think about. And I post them here. End of the warning).
The Japanese have a word that they often use to describe Italians: tekitou (As soon as I figure out how to reset my japanese input system I’ll provide the kana and possibly the kanji I promise): imprecise, lightheaded, and also appropriately in this case, outside the lines.
Both Italians and non-Italians have positive and negative opinions about it. Some see in it an endemic and childish irresponsibleness, and believe Italy should “grow up” and finally join the international community as a rightful and full member, finally blossoming in all it’s potential that is now being hold down by this silly attitude that causes disorganization and chaos. Some others think all the others claim is true but is being seeing from a flawed point of view, as it is in the core of the “Italianity” what we are talking about, where it’s true genius comes from, what is perceived as its creativity and uniqueness, and that the everyday problems caused by it is nothing but the small price to pay in order to maintain this.
As for me, like most of my co-nationals, when I have to take a position about it as an Italian person, I choose to stand wherever the right place is in that moment for my own personal interest. Maybe a little cynic, but unfortunately probably true. As if it wasn’t enough to be only human, I am also Italian.
So in this case I thought that truly it is real-life experience what teaches you the most about culture.
No matter what position of the above you choose to side with, only living here you understand how when you get to a crowded parking lot in morning full of errands to run, and the only spot available is between the lines, because most of the people previously there parked like that, even if you wouldn’t normally like to park like that, in that case you have to. If you could, if there was even only one spot, you WOULD park inside the lines. But not that morning.
And you have to park oustide the lines.

To finish, a video I took from my friend’s Rosa’s bathroom window, in Rome. Thanks Rosa!

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