2 March 2008

Al Volante

I got myself a car - my first car! (Gasp!).

Whilst car hunting I considered getting an automatic as I thought it would be "easier", but in the end I went for a manual one mainly because there's much more choice here for manuals. Now after a week of driving I know that changing gears is the least of my problems whilst driving in Naples. More important is how to cope with people over taking me on both sides, people cutting in front of me so they can leave the tangenziale at a seconds notice, and most irritatingly, parking!! At the moment, to park in a field is a chore, but I’m sure with practice I’ll master it.

I have good driving days and bad driving days but hopefully soon I'll be as good as the rest of 'em.

One tale - I have many: The other day I arrived at a big STOP sign on the road but I only slowed down as there was no one around at all. I pointed this out to OH as to the reason why I hadn’t stopped completely, but OH said to never stop there because if you do you’ll cause problems as no one ever stops there. How drivers from out of Naples cope with these in-house rules, I'll never know.


Leanne said...

You are so brave to drive in Naples! I think it is the second worst city in Italy to drive, as I must say I believe Palermo to be the worst.
When I was in Naples the other week we also noticed that ALL the cars have dints, scratches, mirrors missing etc... but it is true what your OH says - you need to learn 'their' rules or else you will cause accidents.
ALSO - are you British? Did you have a British license? I went to the driving office (what ever it is called) in Cosenza to swap my Aussie licence for an Italian one and they said Australia is not on the list to swap so I have to sit a written test and have a driving test in Cosenza which is in the top 10 of maniac drivers.

Jessica said...

Holy crap! You are awesome! I am terrified of driving here. I do it around my house when I have to, but I refuse to ever drive in the city. I also have no desire to go back to driving school. grr.

Delina said...

Leanne, I am British but I actually got my license in Naples! ahaha. I don't think you'll have any problems passing your driving test here. They pass you much easier compared to England anyway IMO.

Jessica, I know what you're saying, but I think it's just a question of practice and being prepared for anything!

erin said...

wow, i'm scared to even drive here in florence, and can't even imagine Naples!

Gil said...

The thing that really scares me is getting passed on both sides by motorbikes inches away from my car. All I can think of is if I sneeze I'll take someone out and end up in jail!

In a few days you'll the driving mastered.

Tui said...

Wow, you are brave to drive in Naples. I have a tough enough time just crossing the street around here!

I wonder what it would be like to drive in Naples for a while, and then suddenly drive back in the states? I remember how sedate I-5 felt to me in the US after living in Belgium for a year.

Anyway, congrats!

J.Doe said...

I'm sure you'll master it, and congratulations! You are brave to drive there.

Cherrye said...

You ARE brave and congrats on your new car. I don't like driving here (in Catanzaro) either! I stopped a stop sign once and got in so much trouble! Cars were honking at me from behind! Very stressful. Let's not forget the fact that I HAD to stop. There was traffic coming from both sides.

Also, I agree with Gil. I hate being passed by those little scooters. I'm scared I'm gonna hit them.

I do imagine having a new car makes it a bit more fun, though!

Emmina said...

Milan is also a pretty mean place to drive. The road system is bad (although not as bad as in Naples!) and people are in such a hurry that they're more than happy to practically push you off the road in an attempt to get ahead! I used to try and 'go with it' (when in Rome etc.) but I've now adopted a 'why should I break the rules just because everyone else does?' attitude. I think I make life harder for myself this way though! Good luck!!

Delina said...

But I'm no braver than any of you, it's just a question of knowing the streets and the way of driving.

joe@italyville.com said...

well done... if you can drive in Napoli, you can drive anywhere! Stop? just a suggestion.