Beware to the Friday! Living in Rome

Sunday, January 26, 2014 by Maurizio Guarini Italy

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One Friday in mid-season in Rome. White fast clouds in a blue sky, a certain laxity in the air. Just as you are beginning to think about how nice it would go to the beach instead of quitting within the four walls of an office, that's your thoughts banging against a wall unexpected: the metro station is closed. Someone else has done your own thought: the man usually drives the train that takes you to work. Friday is not a day like any other, who lived in Rome for a few years knows, because there are high chances of hitting one of those strikes that have made Italy famous all over the world, such as pizza and cappuccino. The reasoning of the unions is linear: a one-day strike close to the weekend greatly increases participation, and the media success of the protest. So then of course you should not participate in marches, sit-in or demonstrations; you just sit at home, or at the beach, giving up a day's pay. Unpaid leave, in fact. What then four million people are left to their own devices in dealing with the enormous task of having to reach other parts of the city with alternative means of transport, this is a minor detail that certainly will not ruin anyone the pleasure of the first tan. So on Thursday, the Romans are accustomed to scrutinize with particular attention to the local news in newspapers or watch the news on the radio, ready to seize the slightest indication of a possible strike. Each person will have developed, over time, its strategy to face the test: car sharing with colleagues, wake up at dawn to move before the strike (with return during the night), or simply take a day off, and maybe really go to the sea.

Maurizio Guarini Italy


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