We’ve Got Wheels…and a few driving tips

I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a car since I was 16.  Not kidding.  It’s been almost 6 weeks without a vehicle.  Yes, we’ve rented cars to get around, but there is nothing like owning your own car, the sense of freedom it brings with it especially when you’re living on a military base.

The only issue was finding a car here in Naples, as I don’t really know how to drive a standard.  Poor Piper is probably suffering a slight case of whiplash from my frequent stalling in our rental cars.  So getting a car – one that I can drive (yes I’ll have one of the token automatics in Italy) is so freaking exciting.  For the record, Scott has no issues driving a standard, and in fact loves to drive them. I think in his former life he was a race car driver.

Now the question is what did we decide to get?!  Naples is known for it’s chaos.  Along with it’s chaos comes frequent break-ins and traffic accidents…. which they call Naples kisses – just a little bump here and there…  I think it’s more of a status symbol to drive with your windows knocked out and have dents and scratches all over. They also drive incredibly small cars here – think smart cars and mopeds.

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So finding a car that would fit in, but is safe for a family was kind of hard to do.  I always swore I’d never drive a mini-van.  No offense to mini-van lovers, it’s just not my thing.  The good news for me is mini-vans are too big for Naples, but I did settle for the next best thing… a station wagon.  Yup!  I really think I’ve lost my marbles, but moving to a foreign country where nothing is what you are used to can do that to you.

So here is my car – although it’s not Italian, it’s a real European brand… drum roll please for my…. Audi.

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And here is Scott’s a Fiat, which we hear stands for Fix It Again Tony.  Hopefully that’s not the case with our Bravo.

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Yes, our cars look alike….they all do.  Small.

Now for the driving here in Naples…  It just doesn’t make sense.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  They say there are only two rules to the road here.

1) Flow like water… if you see an empty space, fill it.  And they do just that- if there is a hole it will be filled with 5 mopeds and 2 cars with in seconds.  People literally drive while touching the bumper of the people in front of them.

2) You’re only responsible for what’s in front of you… don’t worry about your sides or your rear.

And park where ever you want.

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Like the middle of a traffic circle – and hop out in front of traffic without even looking.  Because rule #3….Ok so there are more than 2 rules…

3) Don’t make eye contact with anyone when you are driving or walking out into traffic.  If you do then that means you are yielding to them.  If you act like you don’t see them, then you have the right of way…

Oh and stop signs are just decorations on the side of the road – I’ve yet to see anyone stop, and I’ve been told the best way to get rear-ended is to stop.  It’s barely a yield sign….

Wish us luck on the road!  I think we might need it….

Comments

  1. Virginia Winters says:

    Hi, Just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate the picture of Piper.
    She is a very pretty little girl. I know your very proud of her.
    We love getting to see the pictures of your life in Italy and elsewhere.
    We can only dream of having an opportunity like you guys have.
    Take care and may God Bless and Keep You in the New Year ahead.
    We will be on line often to view your wonderful pictures!
    Love and Prayers,
    Uncle Fred and Aunt Ginger

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