That would be me, Mrs. Moglie. Married to a native Italian, Mr. Marito.
Mother to a daughter in high school, Ms. SmartyPants and a son in middle school, Mr. Uometto.
Employed at a private British School as an English teacher and Coordinator of Children's Studies.
Part of a small, but growing Protestant church in Frascati, a small town in the hills just outside of Rome.

This is where I sometimes gripe, complain and grumble about the things I dislike, have yet to get used to or simply don't understand about bella Italia.
I do, however, have many people, places and things that I dearly love and I am more than aware of being blessed by each and every one of them.
Also - a few helpful posts for visitors to Rome or for newly arrived ex pats. Check the side bar for tags. I've even some recipes that I've borrowed, tweaked or invented. One thing I've come to love about Italy is how it's changed the way I eat - slow food !! Although ... I do miss Taco Bell ... and Jack in The Box ... and KFC ... and ::sigh::
Thanks for stopping by !!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Terrorists, Subways and Japanese Tourists

I took this photo on a dare. The year was 2006 and while that would seem a rather long wait to begin security measures due to terrorist attacks and threats of al-Qaeda aggression, if you lived in Italy, you'd know that the government was actually working pretty swiftly on this one. *blatant sarcasm

So the Rome metro police were cracking down hard, really hard. They started by actually leaving the quiet sheltered confines of their glass encased stations to patrol ... of all the places, the metro! They went all out and began assigning more than one officer to police an entire metro stop. Professionalism knows no bounds. They added a touch of class by instructing the members of their force to occasionally make eye contact with civilians and otherwise convey acknowledgement of our, the public's, existence. It was like ... a whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew - okay, stop that Brain. Back to the story. Now, while I was reveling in this whole new world of subway heaven; greetings and smiles from metro policemen, helpful assistance when my ticket would stick, kind offers to help me find my way just walking into the underground and on and on and on with all the smiley happy people and the wonderful Kodak moments at the metropolitana - my Italian friends, on the other hand were being stopped and sequestered and strip searched !! No, they weren't. Just kidding *smile* But they were receiving some small degree of harassment. They were, in fact, being questioned if they seemed to linger too long in one place. They were being asked to show proof of ticket purchase or train pass. They were being asked to please put away their phones and other electronic devices used to take photographs. This was post 9/11, after all !! 

More than a few of them hinted their disgust (read: envy) at the idea that I, not even a citizen of this great nation, could walk around freely, loiter for minutes on end and brazenly toss my large Fuji Finepix camera about as though it were an innocent, non-lethal common every day item - like a gelato. The nerve of me! But I reassured them, surely, if I were to start snapping photos of the subway and trains, I, too, would be harshly reprimanded. They disagreed. No, no, of course not. I am Korean. Therefore, that makes me more than likely Japanese in Italy. I have a camera on my person and that makes me 100% Japanese tourist in Italy. They wouldn't stop me. They'd more likely turn their heads, smile and wave for the camera than stop me. I set out to prove them wrong, these horrible racist friends of mine. I would show them! I mean, just because I'm orientale (Asian), that doesn't give them the right to think I can't be a mean green terrorist machine !! Yeah, so what if I talk softly and demurely? So what if I raise my hand to cover my mouth when I giggle like an innocent school girl? So what if I have long black silky hair that I toss and throw about slow-motion style in the bright white rays of the rising sun? So what if I drop everything and anything I'm doing at the sound of my husband-san's voice to fall at his feet and submit to his every whim and fancy? So what if I -- never mind. They were right. I wasn't stopped. No one cared about the Japanese tourist taking photos of the subway trains. harumph!

** As with all things here, what started with grand and lofty beginnings has trailed off into typical Italian government abandonment. The metro police are back in their glass stations without a care to you or Japanese tourists ... Italians are once again free to loiter endlessly wherever they choose ... My subway heaven is all but a memory now ...

On the Bright Side
°more and more Italians are becoming aware of Asian nations other than China, Japan and the Philippines

°the subway is a handy dandy way of getting from point A to B without the hassle of dodging traffic, finding parking spaces, taking the bus (phooey) or walking kilometers and kilometers until the backs of your shoes have carved their way into your ankle bone

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