Street Sweepers and Other Small Things

There are a lot of things I have already become accustomed to here in Italy that most Americans may find entertaining. One example is the street sweepers. There are normal street cleaning vehicles with the big spinny bristles on the bottom, just like you might find trolling the streets at 3 and 4 in the morning in the US. But there are also occasionally official looking men in neon orange vest who walk down the streets with an old fashioned broom, (handmade by a little old man with deft fingers by tying together hundreds of individual twigs) sweeping up garbage or leaves from the cobblestones. They look rather silly.

Also, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but Italians seem to love dogs. They are very often left off of their leashes, sometimes sitting patiently at the foot of their owner under tables in restaurants, sometimes roaming the streets or out with their owner for a jog, and always always pissing and shitting. Normally I wouldn’t resort to such language, especially with my family reading this blog, but it’s really very disgusting. Dog droppings litter the streets and I think most Americans will step in a pile at some point. I have only had one near miss. I have also had many a lovely view of a pleasant street marred by the sight of a dog lifting it’s leg and letting fly. I’ll stick with cats, thank you.

One other thing I might mention is the energy consciousness. It’s not that Italians are the best environmentalists; they often forget to recycle, but because Italy does not produce any of it’s own energy, the costs are quite high so saving energy/gas is critical. That is why heating is restricted to 7 hours per day and there are no dryers. This means I have to line dry my clothes and they are not warm and huggably soft after washing, but rather cold and a little bit crispy… I don’t mind this so much as they warm/soften up once I’m wearing them, but I just thought you might be interested in knowing it.

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