Well I have been overseas for a month now and it is starting to feel like I actually live here. Caserta is a little different than most cities I’ve been to, but I’m in a different country so I guess I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s a good in between size; the town center is fairly big (enough for me to get lost, but I’m learning!) and the city itself kind of staggers around the palace. Fortunately, there is still a small town feel to it; like being able to walk to grocery stores and have the local vegetable shop owners know your usual purchase. There is also a farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday mornings kind of on the outskirts of town. It has been a fairly easy transition with the help of teammates especially, but I have to say that having my bat bag stolen out of the car last week was really the “welcome to southern Italy” moment. For the record, if you’re traveling down this way, don’t leave ANYTHING in the car… even if you are running into the store for ten minutes. Stupid on my part, but sometimes I guess you got to learn the hard way.
In one of my previous posts I mentioned something about the driving around here… hopefully I will be able to snap a picture to explain just how crazy people are on the roads, but until then just take my word for it. I have driven in Houston traffic and I’ve driven in Dallas traffic… I hate both, but I am literally nervous to drive here!
**Side note: The only car we have for our apartment to share between six girls is a super old Suzuki that more than likely wouldn’t pass most inspections. So between that and learning how to drive a stick TODAY, I’m not ready to go anywhere besides parking lot practice :) Anyway…
Road rage: n. Violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle.
If you are a person who experiences this, DON’T DRIVE IN SOUTHERN ITALY! If you don’t experience this much in the states, driving here will bring it out of you. I don’t see cars going near as fast as back home unless it’s on a straight away, but when you have people constantly pulling out in front of you its impossible. Seriously though, I’ve watched people pulling out and they don’t even check left and right they just go. And lanes, forget it. It can be a two lane road but four lines of cars. There are speed limit signs, but police don’t pull people over here so you can pretty much drive how you like as long as you don’t play bumper cars. Coincidentally, every intersection looks like a game of bumper cars that you’d see at the fair… I’ve seen cars get so close to us I can touch them while sitting in the front seat. There are a couple street lights, but people only pay attention to them unless its a one way road going under a bridge. Otherwise, if the coast is relatively clear they go. Needless to say I feel like I’m in a real live video game every time we get in the car to go somewhere… you just never know what’s going to happen! Moral of the story, even driving here is like an art.
It’s kind of a joke, but here is a video that explains how I feel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q6aLxxsoqU