Ryan and I sold both of our cars before we left DC. Ryan’s ‘small’ SUV and my world’s-biggest-turning-radius car would both have been cumbersome to work with in the narrow Roman streets. We were lucky enough to buy a car from an American leaving Rome, so that we had a car almost as soon as we arrived. (We’re technically driving it around unregistered, with plates that aren’t ours, with the wrong provincial sticker, without Italian translations of our licenses, and without the correct insurance card … but those are details.)
Behold, our beloved, ‘Romanized’ (a.k.a. ‘dented’) vehicle:
It’s small, and unfashionable . . . but it gave us some desperately desired freedom, and we don’t have to worry about door dings. As you can see, Ryan towers over the tiny car – he fills up a good bit of the inside as well. At the end of a caravaning car ride a friend who was driving the car ahead of us had the perfect descriptive quote when he said (of Ryan) “I kept looking in the rear view mirror and bursting out laughing. You look so ridiculous in that car!” But hey, when in Rome, one must drive as the Romans do.
I didn’t notice this for weeks . . . I’m not sure this was the message we meant to be sending when we drive around . . .
(Note: I’m pretty sure it’s the Italian version of ‘Baby on Board’ – with ‘bimbo’ being short for ‘bambino’)
In case you were wondering, we do use the “When in Rome” phrase around here, but sparingly. It’s like there’s this unspoken understanding that if you use it too often you might get smacked.