Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


I'm gonna git you sucka

See, there was a taxi today. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe, just maybe, he didn't realize that the nerve he was dancing on was my last one. It had been worn bare in the past few days by other Italians and was connecting my tact and patience to my mental health by just one skimpy thread.

Please don't misunderstand me. I know that America is full of tactless people who push and shove and bully to get what they want. But Italy is fuller. Ohhhh lawdy is it full. FULLFULLFULL.

Now I understand that the fact that I am driving around tight curves at a normal speed would be enough to make any Italian lose his 2 marbles, but the fact that I actually turned on my blinker 30 meters in advance of my anticipated left turn, and had the gall to actually slow down 5 meters ahead of said turn, well, that was the last straw. Me and my prudent driving are so intolerable, in fact, that he JUST HAD TO TRY TO PASS ME ON THE LEFT WHILE I WAS TURNING.

I'm sure that those extra 30 seconds he would have saved if he hadn't had the misfortune of driving behind someone like me would have changed his miserable life.

I yelled a few things at him, like, "Hey! Didn't you see my left blinker? Why you gotta try and pass me on the left? You're going to cause an accident!" Yep, I toooooold him.

He called me a brutta scema (ugly idiot) and continued on his hasty path, completely oblivious of the fact that this was the last in a series of rather unpleasant, recent experiences that I've had with an intolerably large percentage rudeness. If he were either a) on his way to work, or b) waiting on a customer in a store, he would have been much more relaxed because these are the situations in which Italians have no rush at all.

You can send me ugly comments telling me not to generalize all you want. I'll invite you to come to the grocery store with me and "wait in line" at 1:00 in the afternoon, and we'll see how full of sugar and spice you are when you come out. Then I'll tell you to multiply that experience by 3 years and you'll BUY my ticket back to Texas.

Please don't tell me to leave if I don't like it here, 'cause I love it. Most of it. And when Italians AREN'T busy being late, being pushy, yelling, honking, paying slave wages, and skipping poor unsuspecting Texans in the deli line they are sweet, generous people.

Except for the taxi driver. I have it on good authority that he was born from the womb of a rabid jackal.


Blogger Dayngr said...

There's that Texas charm I've been missing! You just need to blog more... we can take it!

8/22/2006 1:51 PM

Anonymous JJ said...

"You dirty mutha...don't say that!"

8/22/2006 1:55 PM

Blogger Sicilian said...

Tracie. . . Fagghedda abouda it.
Missed your blog so much. . . glad to see that you have your humor still. . . and remember. . . you could experience that wonderful attitude. . . in NYC. . . you just get great scenery. . . and then "the man."
Texas loves you. . . "the man" needs you. . . give them the hook em horns sign next time. . . they won't know what to do with that. . .

8/22/2006 2:31 PM

Blogger Tina said...

hehehehe "born from the womb of a rabbid jackal" I have never laughed so hard in my life. Girl you crack me up and I LOVE your writing!

8/22/2006 3:50 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

dayngrgirl--thanks:) i'm trying!

jj--thanks for visiting

sicilian--but i'm from texas!

tina--i'm happy that you can laugh at my misery ;)

8/23/2006 4:56 AM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Tried to pass you on the left? WTF! Maybe once the crowds leave, things will be much better.

Your post was funny. Anyone who has been reading your blog knows how much you love living there. Sometimes you do need to get things off your chest.

8/23/2006 8:45 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

yea nyc, and sometimes having the letters P, M, and S in your world doesn't help one damn bit. thanks:)

8/23/2006 9:00 AM

Blogger The very nice man said...

Stumbled across your blog and had to laugh a lot!! I so would like to move to Italy but I am a bit of a yellow-belly!
Next time you see a taxi driver misbehave, just call him "Son-of-ma-bitch!!"

8/23/2006 9:33 AM

Blogger curva_fatal said...

people are the same exact way here in Portugal, i a huge hurry when driving to no where. and missing in action when it comes to work. thats why we will get ahead!

8/23/2006 5:55 PM

Blogger melusina said...

I had a very similar experience when we lived on Kos, a guy passed me on the left as I was about to turn. Not that Greek drivers are ever much better than that. I think the Italians and Greeks are basically from the same stock. ;)

Drivers in Nashville were dangerous, but overly medicated (or rather, spaced out). Drivers in Greece are just plain vicious.

8/24/2006 10:09 AM

Anonymous J.Doe said...

Sorry to say, but I also laughed at your misfortunes.
Italians drive like jerks-and I'm being polite. All the ones I know upon visiting the USA (or Canada) comment on how easy the driving system is there.

8/24/2006 10:39 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

hmmm... Complaining about driving in Naples...

and so many stereotypes in the comments...

It's 100+ F. here in Dallas. Has been for 22 days this August....

8/24/2006 12:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post- i hear your pain!!! i'm an american who's been living in rome for 8 years and as much as i LOVE italy, there are times when their pushy, rude, inconsiderate manners are unbearable. ex: public transporatation... why oh why do they all hoard around the doors, space yourselves out people!! why don't they let everyone get off the bus before pushing & shoving their way in?? i find there's a general lack of common courtesy in here. and don't even get me started on italian "customer service".... (=

8/25/2006 2:04 AM

Blogger Susan in Italy said...

I hear ya! Being in public situations (waiting in line, walking on a crowded sidewalk, the subway, etc. luckily I don't drive here) is my least favorite Italian experience. But, like you, I have many favorites, though. I guess it all balances out in the end.

One caught-myself-in-an-unfair-stereyotyping note, though. The other day as I waited in a long line at the airport heading back to Milan, where there was no more room to even stand or pass through, there was a group of 4 college back-packers laying on the floor taking up about 20 standing-room-only spots. I thought to myself, "humph, selfish Italians". When I went to ask them to move, though, it turned out they were from the States!

8/25/2006 9:34 AM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Sounds like your missing that good ol' Southern hospitality. I bet you could use a nice, "after you, ma'am."

8/25/2006 1:06 PM

Blogger Katherine said...

You're so brave, I wouldn't even attempt to drive in Italy- especially after being a passenger and narrowly escaping death many a time...and always one of my cousins was driving - maybe they were trying to tell me to go home sooner!

8/28/2006 3:55 PM

Blogger american girl in italy said...

I have noticed that when you are behind an italian driver, they go very slow. But as soon as someone gets in front of them, they taligate, honk, and try to speed up, and then they pass the other car. I think it is some weird gene, that doesn't allow them to drive behind other cars. Like, all of a sudden, they have somewhere to go...which is usually the bar for a caffe! hehe

8/29/2006 2:34 PM

Blogger ManNMotion said...

I had an Italian taxi drver curse me out, along with some interesting gestures, after he deftly switched a 50 euro bill to a 10 and tried to say I underpaid him. No big deal...I had no idea what he was saying.

9/25/2006 1:48 AM

Blogger cammar said...

Tracie, I'll link this post as an answer to when they ask me:"why did you leave Italy?"

In general, the level of rudeness of the italian drivers is waaaay higher than americans.
That is more than compensated, though, by the military aggressiveness.

10/03/2006 4:01 AM

Blogger Do Bianchi said...

My biggest pet peeve in Italy was how it took so many letters of recommendation and so much bureaucracy to get permission to view Petrarch and Bembo's autographed manuscripts at the Vatican library and then when one of the bidelli brought the handwritten books, he threw them down on the counter and then sneezed from the dust.

So glad you came back to Texas, Tracie B. :-)

10/05/2008 6:22 PM


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