My chain-smoking mother in law once told me that using too much dish soap causes cancer. I have come to the conclusion that this is why most of the dishes in the cupboard don’t look clean! Her pack a day habit seemed to be missing the point.
Sometimes I have to laugh at the sheer irony that instead of inheriting a traditional Italian mother in law, who forbids her daughter in law to work (so far I am not seeing a downside here) and that my sole purpose is to have babies and get fat (again, I fail to see the downside here), I ended up with a carbon copy of my own mother!
A ride in the car with her makes Mario Andretti look like a school kid on his first bike. No shrinking violet, she once ran an Ape (covered scooter) off the road just for being in her way. She also kindly spray-painted the side of someone’s car when they continued to park in her space (haven’t we all wanted to do this at one point or another?). I don’t know whether to be in awe of this woman or in fear!
What’s even more amusing is that I am not used to the narrow streets here in Italy and I have scraped the side of her car several times and even taken out a taillight. When I break the news to her she starts to draw diagrams for me on how to manoeuvre the car in the tight spots and then doesn’t say another word. I have since become on a first name basis with the used car parts guy and bought a handy can of “Panda green” paint!
I’m told that I have one year before I have to write my Italian driver’s exam, so for now I just sail through the roadabouts waving my arms out the window shouting ‘scuzi’ to anyone I inadvertently cut off. Surprisingly, this is quite effective, and knock on wood, I have yet to have an incident with another car. I just seem to hit inanimate objects like ancient stone walls and rails that protect me from a 6,000 meter drop into the sea.
I’ve also been told that miracle of all miracles I can write the test in English. But I am hedging a bet that this is not going to do me a peep of good once out on the road with an instructor and his clipboard. I think I will wait for summer and wear a short skirt : )