Saturday, 19 October 2013

Transport strike

Yesterday on the train an announcement was made at regular intervals that there would be a transport strike the next day. I did not get the full gist as there was a certain amount of crackling combined with various large gaps  in my vocabulary. In due course the train arrived in Rome and I walked to the hotel and settled into a room which is slightly larger and more comfortable than the one they gave me when I was here the first time.

Today when I set out I came across a very large gathering of striking unionists, handing out leaflets, with lots of banners, but I have not managed to find out more except that they are protesting against government cuts to services. I tend to be on their side, especially after having endured an incredible crush of bodies on a bus on the way back to the hotel. The world needs good public transport. I had a free ride as it was impossible to validate the ticket. But at least I paid for it. Lots of other occupations were not striking. The police, the carabinieri, the guards and all such occupations were hanging around in large numbers, looking terribly smart and well groomed in their beautifully cut and elegant uniforms, their elegant hairstyles and general personification of la bella figura.

I wish my Italian was much much better, as I am not understanding much of the political news. There has been a lot reported on the death, at the age of 100, of the Nazi soldier, named Priebke, who was in command of the reprisal executions of three times the number of German casualties from the attack on them in Via Rasella  in October 1943 - 70 years ago. Those executed were shot in the Ardeatine Caves, the entrance to which was concreted over, but some time after the war the caves were reopened and the victims properly buried. There had been a dispute about the burial of Priebke 's body.

Wars and atrocities followed me around today, as when I visited Palazzo Braschi,  there was an exhibition of photographs by Robert Capa, a Hungarian war photographer who  became an American citizen. He followed the American forces after the US  invaded firstly Sicily and then mainland Italy, and he also wrote about his life and experiences. He died years later, I think in Vietnam, after treading on a land mine.

Apparently there will be further strike action tomorrow and thus I must work out addresses and directions tomorrow. I went out for dinner tonight, at a very pleasant restaursnt down the road, which was recommended by the hotel. It is obviously recommended by many nearby hotels. At the adjacent table there was an English couple, pleasant and interesting, so we enjoyed our conversation. We may see each other again tomorrow night.

Having eaten very little all week because of this  little germ, or whatever, tonight's meal was too large a serve. This lovely restaurant charged me only half price. How kind! I hope I am on the way to recovery. There is a lot to do tomorrow,  and I hope to investigate whether there is a little boat trip on the Tiber.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

I cannot imagine a restaurant here reducing the price because the serve was too generous. What a lovely gesture.
There has been a little in the news here about the death of Priebke. And apparently some Italien authorities (not certain which) want him buried in Germany - which is causing difficulty.
I do hope you get your boat trip.