I have a bone to pick with the Portofino Italian Polizia on their scooters. You see, Portofino literally means the “end port”. Once you get to the end you have to either park the car or turn around and leave. The problem is that they have very little parking but lots of traffic.
On weekends there is a line up of traffic patrolled by the local Polizia. You can sit in this line for 30-60 minutes! When 1 car exits another can enter. But, for residents of Portofino, we are provided with a special resident’s “permesso”. This means that we have private parking and a residence in Portofino. Theoretically speaking, we should not have to sit and wait for the traffic jam then.
On one such occasion, I got yelled at by the female scootered Polizia because I didn’t park my car and walk up to her with my “permesso”. Either way, once my car was at the front of the line, in the oncoming traffic lane, she had no choice but to let me through. After all, this is exactly what an Italian would have done (so I am just adapting to my new culture right?) and ironically, there was a Mercedes coupe who followed right behind my humble, little green Panda.
My pet peeve is this: We have a parking space at the bottom of the private road which we seldom use. It is quite often that I will see an unauthorized car using our space. This is very annoying and rude! I usually leave a note stating that they are illegally parked but the fact of the matter is that the local Polizia cannot (or will not) ticket or tow the offending car because it is on a private road. (Once, my mother in law decided to spray paint an intruding car in order to “get her message heard”.)
All Spring long there was not a Polizia in sight to assist with this ongoing problem. However, this past Sunday, suddenly, the same female Polizia was stationed at the foot of the private road to deny access to anyone without a “permesso”. Fair enough, but then when I informed her that the man on the scooter was a guest of mine (my boss was in the car with me and her husband was on the scooter behind) she denied him access! In addition she told him he should not park his scooter in our parking space because he didn’t have a “permesso”!
Are you kidding me??? It’s times like this that I wish I could yell, scream and curse in fluent Italian only to get my frustration out at this stupid woman and for the ridiculousness of their laws. If in fact they will not assist us when someone is illegally parked in our spot then why the hell should they have a right to tell us that our own guests cannot park in our private space?
She informed us that we could always apply for another “temporary permesso” for our guests and I just laughed because it was Sunday and I am pretty sure the tiny local Commune was closed! Luckily, my boss was able to handle the situation without getting a fine while I just held my breath and counted to 10. I am pretty sure she also understood English too because when I stated that the parking space was ours she replied in English to me that it didn’t matter!