Wednesday, 18 January 2012

"Cruise ship chaos because it was an Italian Ship"

Is national character national destiny? The post title is the story.  Krumm's take on national  skiing and driving habits may explain the Eurodebt swamp. We ("The rare Canuck") also get a friendly mention. The Costa Concordia mess he attributes to the way Italians do things.

Example 1: Lining up to ski the alps:
   The British queue even if it’s a queue of one. Should an interloper attempt to cut the lift line, the English response is to politely inform the intruder that there is a queue. Germans also queue, but they aren’t polite to the interloper. They crossly inform intruders, in German, that they are in the wrong. The occasional American skiing the Alps tends to start off polite like the Brit, however, should the line-cutter not oblige, is apt to forcefully enforce the queue. All three nationalities, along with Scandinavians, Dutch, Austrians, Swiss, and the rare Canuck, share the same basic recognition that those already in the queue have higher priority, and will therefore “wait their turn.”
    Italians, especially southern Italians, do not respect this concept on the slopes. Those already ahead of them when they arrive at the lift are an obstacle to be overcome, not to be waited out. Pushing, elbows, and skiing across the top of your own skis are all permitted according to Italian rules.
Example 2:  Driving
You see this on the roads too.  On the autobahns of Germany, the right lane is where you drive unless you are passing, after which you return immediately to the right.  It is this adherance to order that makes it possible for trucks travelling 100 kilometers per hour to co-exist with cars moving twice as fast.  On Italy’s autostrada, two lanes is just a suggestion.  Three cars abreast is not uncommon, as a faster car coming upon two slower travellers, passes his way forward, often on the right.
To this I add my wife's observation that in parts of Italy, side-view mirrors on cars are bent straight back. This lets the people behind know they will be ignored by the car in front. You're on your own.

Having a Euro made available at German interest rates but spent in Mediterranean style is an invitation to binge.

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