York & Borgorose

Misc. Things
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Here are a few miscellaneous observations that I've made but forgotten to write about earlier, or could not find a place to fit them in...

- York is very bicycle friendly; it has many bike lanes along the streets and roads leading into the city, and a lot of people use them for commuting.

- While working out on the site in Borgorose, I frequently saw serious riders tooling by on road bikes. I'm not sure why so many cyclists have the leisure time during the week to be riding around central rural Italy, but very few of them wore helments.

- Many of the small Italian bars at which we stopped to have a drink did not have Coke in cans, but they did serve it on tap, and it cost the same as beer.

- Cigarettes in both Italy and England have stark warning labels: plain white stickers, which take up about half of the front of each and every individual pack, show simple big-font bold black blunt messages such as "Smoking Kills" or "Smoke These And Die". The labels on the cartons in the duty-free shops have proportiontly larger labels of the same sort.

- Notwithstanding the labels, 95% of the people on the Italian project smoked. Some as often as they could, others just one or two with or after dinner. Some even puffed away *ON SITE* while working with trowel and brush. That stunned me, and annoyed me no end. Any other project I've been on that would have been anathema. But given that it was a co-director, it was not a problem. I couldn't stand that -- out in the fresh country air, working in the dirt, and then gross, nauseating, disgusting cigarette smoke drifts over and gags me out.

- I saw someone wearing a cool t-shirt one day in Rome. From a little ways away, it looked like a Nike logo, but on closer viewing it said "Just Did It" and had a little sperm character resembling the Nike swish.

- Italian coffees are tiny; I guess they're expresso or one of them fancy kinds. They call American coffee "dirty water."

-Italians don't use pennies. At least the merchants don't give you change in pennies. For example, if something costs .96 Euro and you pay one Euro, you don't get your four pennies back in change -- they just keep it. I'm told that if you complain, they make a big deal of it to embarass you in front of other customers. Nice way to make a little extra profit, eh?

One of the staple crops of Italy: olives.

A number of bars and small shops have this kind of plastic door hanging; some have more elaborate designs.

An attactive window in a house in Torano.

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