Friday, April 13

Francesca Maggi's Strange But True! Life in Italy

In Italy (as elsewhere around the world), the newscasters and comedians get a big kick out of bringing us the ripoff of the day; whereby they run a candid camera on a fake dentist, or a soothsayer who tells an unsuspecting client they will come down with a terrible malady, or worse.  I sometimes get a big kick out of these stories, and am especially tickled pink by the craftier crimes of our times.  In my book, I point out a few of the genius crimes committed around the Bel Paese.
This story isn't so recent, but I loved it so much I saved it for a rainy day (and today, as all week in Rome, we're going to be met with those April Showers).  Basically, four nefarious masterminds founded their own University, right in the fair town of Verona.  Identified by, the halls of learning sported a likewise lofty name:  Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne).  They even went so far as to publish names of professors and course syllabus'.  For only 7000 euro you could sign up to study management & finance, the arts and theater management as well.  
Perhaps the would-be sophomores could take a course in basic library science instead, to hone in their fact-finding skills like looking for a book under the Dewey Decimal System.
Then we have another genius, this time, a street vendor who sells his fruits & vegetables in the no-traffic zone of Rome.  The cameras caught him entering the 'no entry' zone without a pass over 8000 times, racking up €140.000 in tickets in the process.  Of course, reading the article shed no light on the guy, who was driving someone else's truck, which one source claimed was stolen, another in cahoots, who knows.  My suggestion?  A simple course in civics.  As someone who needs to enter the zone for work, he could even get a ZTL pass nowadays online.

Speaking of passes, I was amused to discover only recently that when taking your driver's education exam in Italy, you are not allowed to use your own car for the deed.  I'm actually not sure why this is the case; you need to prove you can handle any type of car and not the one you might be driving the most?  Or perhaps you & the car cut a deal and the car might drive better for you?  
And finally, back to our great institutions of learning, I discovered that...School kids get sent home periodically from school.  To parents out there, this should come as no surprise due to myriad strikes, assemblies, field trips, and a host of other important reasons.  But the last one I heard was the best: The school needed to exterminate the school.  On a Monday.   I thought that stuff was toxic at best, so...Wouldn't it make more sense to do so on a Friday eve or Saturday when no one will be in the place for two whole days after?  Oh - and of course, there is that no one would miss out on school days in the process.  

Italians have a great word for utter confusion:  Boh?!  

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