Random Friday


I might have already mentioned that, but it’s a “special” (not in a good way) Friday in Italy. Americans have Friday 13, Italians Friday 17. So 17 is the most unlucky number in this country – I’ve heard that some hotels don’t even have a room #17 for that reason. #13, on the contrary, used to be the winning number for Totocalcio (some sort of lottery based on soccer games – you should be aware that soccer is the only sport loved in Italy, and that Italians put out the Italian flag only when the Italian national soccer team plays the world championships – that ran from 1946 to 2003), so it’s a good luck number. Talk about different cultures and numbers! :-)

It’s also the first Friday (after 2 weeks) with no snow-alert in Roma. I’m a winter person, I love snow – but NOT in Roma, where we’re not used to it and nobody knows how to handle it. Last Friday was a nightmare for me – my colleague didn’t come to work because she has a child and schools were closed, so I went on my own. But then I read on the ATAC site that the “snow-plan” would become effective at 1pm, when half the buses would disappear, so I asked the manager to close at 12.30 and go home earlier. Pity there was a technician for the broken printers of the office and I got out at 12.45 – and saw the bus go by!

I panicked, as that bus is every 20 minutes or more, and I was afraid there wouldn’t be another and I’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere because of the snow-plan. It was drizzling/raining, not snowing, and I waited 30 minutes until another bus showed up. But that would mean that the second bus I needed to go home wouldn’t be there, so I consulted my printed sheet from the ATAC site to see which buses would still be running. I took the Metro to Laurentina and then waited 15minutes for the last bus of the series to leave and take me home – took me one hour and a half of anxiety. And then it didn’t snow as much as the previous weekend.

Hopefully we’ve had enough for another 27 years, but it didn’t really help my nervous breakdown! I stopped waking up in anguish at dawn, and now the alarm clock kills me (it has killed me for two mornings in a row, at least!) and I look forward to Saturday when I’ll be able to sleep all morning if I feel like it (not Sunday, but Saturday should be enough to recover).

You might come to Roma as a tourist and visit only the touristic places and find many buses and the Metro and everything, but if you live here, especially in the outskirts, you’re really doomed. My bus was totally absent for both the past weekends (luckily I don’t work on weekends) and sometimes I wait for it 20 to 50 minutes (and it has a 20minutes trip, so it means there’s only one doing the round trip…). On the timetable it’s supposed to show up every 10 minutes during school times/months, 20 minutes rest of the day/summer.

Now I have to take two busses to get to work and the second bus is every 20minutes as well. So Wednesday I lost the usual 7.45 one (and it takes 50minutes to get to the end of the trip), so I arrived at work at 9.10. Yesterday the 7.45 left at 7.50 but did the whole journey in 40 minutes. Traffic is always a surprise, especially in the outskirts where more people take their cars to go to work.  So in Roma you know when you leave, but you have no idea of when you’ll arrive wherever you need to go. Sigh.

Mr Writing should really start earn some money so we can move to a better environment, LOL! :-) Although unless I make it really big, I don’t think I can afford another mortgage – owning a house is what keeps me in Roma. Where sometimes you find world DVDs at 3 euros, decide to watch them subtitled and discover some subtitles are missing. Not too many, so you’re still able to understand the story, but it’s kind of funny to watch the character speak (Mandarin, no less) and nothing is written underneath. Doh.

Anyway, I bought The Promise because it was 3euros and had Hiroyuki Sanada in it (although it’s a Chinese movie, not Japanese). In spite of the missing subtitles, I enjoyed this fantasy story. Sometimes the computer graphics were a little excessive, but most of the visuals are very good – in an oriental way. There are martial arts, goddesses, men with super powers, love, revenge… it’s a good ride. It’s not Bollywood, but if you enjoyed Hero or House of Flying Daggers, it’s in the same vein. And the villain is really young and cute (just like my bad boys, LOL)! :-D

UPDATE: on Friday 17 (thanks, Jai, for asking) – OK, I’m sort of translating from Italian Wikipedia (because, h0nestly, I had no idea, I’m not superstitious anyway): Friday 17 is unlucky in Greco-Latin countries apparently. Friday from Jesus’s passion and 17 because apparently it’s an unlucky number, so the combination makes the most unlucky day. Number 17 was hated in Ancient Greece and  in the Bible the deluge started on a 17th. For the Cabala it’s a lucky number instead.
Illiterate medieval people turned the Latin “VIXI” (I lived) into the number 17 (which is actually written XVII, but they were illiterate and moving away from classic Latin, LOL).
But Friday 17 is only Italian, although we took it from many sources! :-) The English have Friday 13, Spain, Greece and South America Tuesday 13…

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4 Comments

  1. TheOthers1

     /  17/02/2012

    I don’t think I could handle a bus schedule like that, but I’d probably never get a chance to move to a foreign country either. Lovely to visit for a spell, but staying forever isn’t a likely event.

    • It’s my point exactly. When they tell me “you’re so lucky to live in Rome” I answer “no, I’m not. As a tourist or on vacation is one thing, living there is something else completely!”. I love London and Paris probably because I don’t live there all year round and don’t use their public transport during rush hours! ;-)

  2. Owww! I’ll have to look out for The Promise. I haven’t been keeping track of movies but I love martial arts films.

    That’s fascinating that the number 17 is considered unlucky in Italy. Is there some history regarding it? Must be. The whole 13 thing in England is because of how the Knights Templar were betrayed and massacred on the 13th. I think it was in the 13th century too.

    So sorry to hear about your snow anxieties. London’s been under a lot of snow recently too and only in the last four days has the last of it melted.

    Jai

    • Hey Jai,
      Long time no see – missed you! :-)
      OK, I’m sort of translating from Italian Wikipedia: Friday 17 is unlucky in Greco-Latin countries apparently. Friday from Jesus’s passion and 17 because apparently it’s an unlucky number, so the combination makes the most unlucky day. Number 17 was hated in Ancient Greece and in the Bible the deluge started on a 17th. For the Cabala it’s a lucky number instead.
      Illiterate medieval people turned the Latin “VIXI” (I lived) into the number 17 (which is actually written XVII, but they were illiterate and moving away from classic Latin, LOL).
      But Friday 17 is only Italian, although we took it from many sources! :-) The English have Friday 13, Spain, Greece and South America Tuesday 13…
      I guess I should add this as an update to the post as well…
      BTW, London is used to snow. I love snow, like I said, I hate it in Roma where it never snows! :-(

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