The Eye of the Fish

August 8, 2019

Forbidden behaviours

Ten ways to get in trouble in Italy

“As Rome and other Italian cities continue their crackdown on “uncouth” behaviour, you might get in trouble if you do any of the following:

Wellington is not Italy, as those astute among us have noticed, and so those rules above need not apply – at least, not in full. Some of these rules, arguably, probably should though. The Guardian today reports that tourists face fines of 250 Euros for sitting down on the Spanish Steps, which seems a little unfair, seeing that there is literally nowhere else to sit in Rome. But of the heinous crimes listed above in Italy, are there any of these that would apply to Wellington? Or are we, literally and metaphysically, the exact polar opposite? Let’s look at these actions one by one.

Seeing as Civic Square was our only “piazza” of any note, and eating your lunch there on the steps was encouraged, it seems we win on that one – doing the complete opposite to the uptight Romans.

A little difficult to assess, as we don’t currently have a working public transport system within Wellington. Certainly have never seen anyone singing – drunk or not – on the number 3 bus. Dammit, we don’t even talk, let alone sing.

We have zero drinking fountains. Why is that? Is that something that a new Council candidate would like to stand on? We just sell plastic water-bottles instead – wrap your lips around your plastic Pump.

In this weather, not likely. And besides, Ben Hana has been dead for many years now. But it is not really a thing here, any time of the year, except on Oriental Parade. And so far, despite the advent of Women’s Rights, it is still an exclusively male preserve.

For us that means the Plimmer Steps. Behaviour not seen. Catch an Uber from the top and meet people with your bags at the other end.

Substitute Lagoon for Fountain and it is pretty much encouraged, especially for a girls school at the end of the year who like to jump in fully clothed, while the Dom Post sends an obligatory photographer to catch them mid-jump, or to sneak out a quick look at semi-frozen teenage nipples in wet white shirts.

Canals in Venice are like Roads in Wellington – they are the main means of getting from A to B. I confess to walking barefoot in the rain with the volume of water coming down the gutter on those rare yearly deluges.

I’m with the Italians on this one – mandatory death sentence to anyone feeding pigeons as far as I am concerned. I can’t think of a more ugly, stupid, irritating bird. Can’t we train Zealandia’s burgeoning stock of Kaka to hunt and kill pigeons instead of trees in the Botanic Garden?

Petone is a beach town near Wellington – with an annual sand-castle competition – so that one is beaten completely as well.

Noisy shoes? You’ve got me there – we have no equivalent. Possibly noisy adverts for shoes? Banks Shoes, yeah yeah? Do they even still exist?

I think this shows pretty conclusively that Wellington is for the most part, the complete opposite to Italy.

Seamonkey Madness
8 - 08 - 19

One area where the Italians have us licked, is gelato.
But we are definitely making inroads there though, what with Kaffee Eis, Gelissimo,
Zelati, Carrello, and I’m sure some other lesser-known producers.

8 - 08 - 19

I’m actually going to be in Rome before the end of the month. I’ll be sure to report back with relevant findings…
(not looking forward to walking on my hands though)

8 - 08 - 19

Noisy shoes – what about the horrific slapping noise of people walking around in jandals

8 - 08 - 19

You could outlaw Crocs – but what would all the kitchen workers wear?

9 - 08 - 19

Aaah, the comedians come out to play in the sunshine with this one. Hello Joseph – sorry i missed you when you were last here – I’ll have to wait for the second coming. Or maybe see you over there soon. Send me an email if you’ve moved to a new job – i may need to talk with you over something.

m-d – really? Rome? you never asked me for permission! I’ll have to give you a list of buildings to find while you’re over there. Modern or Traditional?

starkive – i dropped a carving knife in the kitchen the other day, and it is amazing how fast the mind makes the legs work when you know there is 12 inches of sharpened steel heading southward. I think if worked in a commercial kitchen, i’d choose something more substantial than Crocs. Steel-capped Doc Martins perhaps.

9 - 08 - 19

Seamonkey – you’re not wrong there! Gelato in Italy is an art form, super-creamy and very soft and sweet. Despite Fontera repeatedly telling us that we kiwis have the best “thuckist, croimiest chocolate milk” , i’m not so sure.

9 - 08 - 19

You want croimy chocolate? No need to go to Rome, just walk (bare-chested or not) down to Scopa.

Andy Foster
10 - 08 - 19

Sorry Leviathan – the kaka aren’t likely to knock off pigeons (the introduced variety) for you but karearea (falcons) certainly will take some. One of my colleagues had a photo of a karearea killing a pigeon on Jack Ilott Green, and I’ve got a wee clip from a couple of years ago of a karearea with a pigeon in its talons on Aro Park. Pretty special – maybe not for the pigeon – but to have rare birds of prey in the middle of the capital city.

10 - 08 - 19

Andy, let’s encourage those karearea to continue predating in Aro Park. It’s a wonderful sight – i remember once when I was walking through Covent Garden, and found that all the pigeons were hiding under the picnic tables, very quietly. Man standing nearby with a leather gauntlet on, as his Hawk patrolled the skies nearby. Pigeons know the story – they’re a lunchtime snack! Would love to see our speedy native falcon descend from the heavens and strike down the unruly peckers of grain…