Sunday, June 9, 2013

Italian Public Transport - What a Ride!

I must say, it has been an adventure here in Italy so far. We, as a group, decided to head to Amalfi for the day today and see the city.  We spent an enjoyable afternoon enjoying the sun, the sea, and the scenery, but the true entertainment (at least for me) was the bus ride back.

The crowd for the bus for Sorrento began to form early and the crowd swelled for a good while.  Every bus that arrived was greeted by a throng of locals and tourists seeking the bus. We were dissapointed several times, but finally our bus arrived. As the door opened, people swarmed the entrance.  It didnt matter age or gender, everyone was pushing everyone else. Ultimately, packed like sardines, the bus began to move. The first leg was as enjoyable as this packed bus could be, but several stops in the real drama began.  For reasons unknown, two women began to argue about available space on the bus and ultimately clogged the doorway preventing the bus doors from closing.  A heated argument ensued with many a hand gesture and it escalated quickly. More people got involved, yelling ensued, and ultimately the bus driver took his leave for a cigarette break, leaving the bus in the middle of the lane.  He returned thirty minutes later with the argument still in full swing. The rest of us got ansy during this time period and entered our opinion while simultaneously filming the event on our assorted devices.

It is important to note that we were still in a bus and clogging the rode, so it seemed everyone within a mile on either side was upset. The honking and general anger added itslef to the cacophony of sounds creating a vivid and passiote Italian argument. Finally, the polizia showed up and settled the situation peacefully while allowing us to get on the move again. The rest of the trip went on with only occasional outburts from the lady earlier.

Whether cooking, or fighting for a place on a bus, it is true Italians put passion into everything they do!!

In all, this situation has given us an interesting case study of Italian mass transit and memories to last us a lifetime!

- John Langford

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