Thursday, June 7, 2007

They Went Thataway

Why doesn't Blogger ever remember me when I check the "remember me" box? I always thought I was unforgettable.

La Bimba has changed. She is entering the terrible twos about a year early. Little tantrums. Food flinging. Flailing, particularly when being taken out of the tub. Slippery little bugger.

The anglophonic moms group met at the Villa Floridiana today, and it was a blast. Lots of running and crawling and ball-throwing, bubble-blowing, bubble-chasing, bubble-eating. The park has a great lawn in front of the ceramics museum and our little group of bilinguals found lots of mini Italians to mingle with...with which to mingle. Bilingual Mingle. I bet there's an online dating service called that. Bilingual Singles Mingle. Mingling Bilingual Singles eating Pringles.

I was led to believe as a small child that Pringles potato chips were worse for you than any other potato chip. I don't know who told me that or what the claim is based on, but I will say that though they are tasty, they do look like someone chewed up a Lays chip, spit it out, rolled it with a rolling pin, and refried it. There is something reconstituted about a Pringles potato chip. They don't even taste like potatoes. But it is what they sell on Italian trains. And I get deep satisfaction from the vacuum suck sound the container makes upon opening.

I got my Permesso di Soggiorno! Yesterday! And I almost forgot to mention it. It's the new electronic kind, looks like a driver's license. My photo is awful, but who cares? I am legal for the first time in Italy since arriving nearly three years ago. I tried to be legal from the get-go, but the cops at the Rome questura were rompipalli industriali, so they never gave me the permit, even though it was all ready. They were punishing me for moving from Parioli to Flaminio without telling them. This was before The Husband and La Bimba.

Now I can dive into all the bureaucratic nightmares Italy has to offer: getting residency, a public health doctor, a driver's license. Should be fun. My friend L. just gave me the guide to the written driving test. It is hilarious! They give you true or false questions, but not ones someone who was raised in the American public school system would recognize. There are several true answers to each question. You have to choose which are true and which are false. As L. pointed out to me, and I confirmed while reading the book (and it is a BOOK not a leaflet or pamplet or booklet), one of the questions is, What is a street? There are five true answers:

1. open to circulating pedestrians, animals and vehicles

2. might be one-way

3. might be two-way

4. might be subdivided into roadways (confused? see below)

5. might have bicycle lanes

It is not surprising that the answers did not include, NOT A SIDEWALK. This is Naples, after all.

Answer 4 in Italian is as follows: può essere suddivisa in carreggiate. A carreggiata is defined as a carriageway or roadway. Thank heavens the exam also asks, What is a roadway?

1. the part of the street designated for vehicle transit

2. may be divided into lanes

3. may be one-way

4. may be two-way

5. are marked by special beginning and end signs

6. have special parking areas

7. are reserved for the circulation of any category of motorized vehicle

I could go on all day. The book is so entertaining. But not nearly as entertaining as this:

I think that is going to really help me pass the test.

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