It is becoming increasing difficult to think of things to blog about because life in Italy is becoming increasingly normal to me. Don't get me wrong, it is wonderful, but I'm just not noticing the things that are different anymore. For example, I didn't think anything was strange or different about the way I get around now. I'm simply doing as everyone else does... but when my family was in town, they were a bit surprised.
Driving in this city is less than ideal and parking is even worse. Within a few months of living here, I already "bend the BMW" as the Italians say. So last year I walked everywhere because I had a two year old in a stroller. (If you have ever tried to shop with a two year old on the loose, you understand why I needed that stroller.) Even when my two year old needed stitches, we walked to the emergency room. It is a few blocks from my house and there is no parking at the hospital.
This year, however, I have joined all the other Ferrese and I go by bike.
Ferrara is the city of bicycles. The number of people biking here is among the highest in Europe. I'm not talking about Sunday afternoon leisurely bike rides. No, this is a way to get from A to B. It is common to see 80 year old women loaded down with shopping bags, whizzing past you on a bike. I often see people smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone pedaling down the street. People eat gelato while riding, teenage boys ride with their girlfriend on the bar in front and kiss while they ride down the street, people ride with their dogs in the basket. I've even seen a waiter in an apron biking while balancing a tray of espresso. This all used to amuse me, but after living here so long, it all seems quite normal.
Outside of the train station:
17 hours ago