• The Italian road trip... At the roundabout; stop

    I like my life. Perhaps it's the not most glamorous, or the most flamboyant. Certainly not the heady "supposed to be like this when you're in your late 20's" thingy bob.

    And in this life of relative normality, I like to, every know and again take life in to my own hands. Before you all start to panic that I am reaching for one too many ibuprofen's, by 'taking my life into my own hands' I mean knife in the toaster scenario.

    Being in Italy, I have to come the realisation that this thirst for 'momentary lack of mortality' is quenched with each passing minute that I step into a car and begin the perilous five minute journey to the opposite end of town.

    Peter Parker would struggle

    When it's not some teenage reprobate with no helmet trying to run into your car with a scooter, or the average citizen managing to find the milimetrical precision of a high end heart surgeon to squeeze their car between yours and a low wall, it becomes a question of the terrain.

    Yes, because it's not just the driving that has to be monitored, controlled or checked through gritted teeth. Nope, you require a spider like sense like Peter Parker to understand that when you think it's time to pull out, it really isn't.

    And so cometh the roundabout

    In England we are used to them, in Italy, they are not.

    For example, in Italy, traffic lights have always been a thing advice and never law. Red means, proceed with caution, amber for, who cares go, and green for, watch out the guy on red has just gone through.

    So what better to cure the traffic flow and risk your life less than a roundabout? According to the Italians, nothing. This IS the solution.

    But roundabouts like everything else have rules, rules created to help the everyday person to go about their commute/travel with ease. But how could that exist in a nation where the seatbelt is still considered to be worn only for legality and not for safety!

    It's simple, or rather, it should be simple. Approach, give way to your left, join the roundabout, indicate, leave.

    I think I've seen it all

    My cousin is convinced that the person joining the roundabout has right of way. My uncle thinks that those on the roundabout need to stop mid turn. And most worryingly my policeman friend thinks, the law is simple... don't crash.

    And that's why, the Italian roundabout is like no other. It's a paradigm with everything that is brilliant and bonkers about this country. It doesn't matter where you are from or what you do, that sense of mortality is left completely in your hands, in the hope that someone else using the road feels the exact same way.

    Long live Italian motorists, I've always said they are the "best" in the world, now I'm more convinced than ever that they are.

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