Wednesday, October 05, 2011


"Today would be a good day to go to the post office", I told myself as I waded past that building in torrential rain on Monday [drainage in Modica not being particularly good].  In heavy rain, you see, the Modicani stay at home if they possibly can and one of the few advantages of this type of weather is, therefore, that you stand a chance of being attended to in bureaucratic public offices within a shorter time than usual - not quickly, you understand, just less slowly.

But if I thought my own pazienza had been tried over the past six years, my ordeal has been as nothing when compared to that of the pensioners of the town of Orta di Atella in Caserta Province [Campania].  The town has seen a population explosion in recent years and its one post office is now insufficient for the needs of the 25,000 inhabitants, reports Corriere della Sera. So fed up are some of the town's pensioners with the chaos when the building  opens in the morning - the rush to get a numbered ticket, the pushing and shoving and then the interminable wait to be served - that they have begun queuing outside from 6 pm on the evening before their pension is due to be paid.  And there they wait, all night, seated on the cold stone steps, smoking, chatting and attempting to keep each other's spirits up - hardly a pleasant way to pass the night for anybody and certainly not for the elderly, with the town's disabled pensioners suffering from the situation even more.

Let us hope that articles in the media will draw the attention of both regional and central government to the pensioners' plight.

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Now to romance:  I was immensely cheered to read of the marriage in Modica yesterday of an 82-year-old woman to a 79-year-old man.  The two met through a lonely hearts column and, after getting to know each other well, moved in together.  Only after 16 years did they decide to tie the knot and one of the nicest elements of this story is that they chose, as a witness, a homeless man who is a well-known and kindly local character.

May they live happily ever after and I raise my glass to them tonight.

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Pazienza - if I just wait another 21 years.....


Rosaria Williams said...

Oh,two good tales!

Bev said...

I know what a frustrating experience it is at an Italian post office so it was actually funny that your plan to escape the lines and the wait, was to brave the torrential rain when all other "sane" town inhabitants remained safely dry inside. And it's sad that things can't change especially for the benefit of the elderly. They lived a hard life and now they have to endure even more just to get their due.

Miss Footloose said...

Oh, drainage problems in the street! Here in Chisinau, Moldova, the streets are instant rivers as soon a it begins to rain. Ruined good shoes that way, sigh, when I got caught in it a few weeks ago.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Rosaria. Hi, Bev. That's one of my strategies! Yes, I feel for those pensioners. Hello, Miss Footloose. I empathise as I've ruined many a pair of shoes in the rain here.

Jenny Woolf said...

camping out all night to go to the post office! I hope they give them a tot of brandy when they finally stagger through the doors.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Jenny. Yes, I hope so, too.

Gledwood said...

That top picture looks like Surbuton high street.

But more to the point: do pensioners really wait all night just for a place in the queue that's dreadful.

Here's a comment I left Gattina at her writer cramps blog that seems relevant:~~~~~~~~

I saw a woman at my bus stop getting fined £80 for tossing a cigarettte end into the road. She was obviously a single mother and to her that was a week's income.

I had noticed the three uniformed inspectors, complete with CCTV lapels, knew their game and smoked my ciggie VERY carefully. Still it was a shock to see this woman busted so cruelly. I blame New Labour for bringing this sort of bullshit in.

A friend of mine got fined £80 by an "eye in the sky" camera for "parking" on a double yellow line ~ which wasn't even visible in the photo they sent out. I told him "you are allowed to park for 5 minutes before they can charge you" but he bottled out and coughed up. That's another New Labour ridiculousness.

I feel so sorry for that woman. I think she should have thrown herself under the next bus. What else has she to live for except more hounding and persecution by uniformed nobodies until she dies of a heart attack from the pressure of it all. All thanks to New Labour and their spy cameras.

And people wonder why I spend my time learning exotic languages (the latest one being Spanish) and dreaming of getting THE HELL OUT OF THIS SHITHOLE OF A COUNTRY. I notice you only visit for a week or two each year. Trust me Gattina: any more time and a reasonable lady like you would end up bipolar in the loony bin just like me!


Trubes said...

WE have rivers running down our road when it rains heavily Welshcakes, Since I've had my new electric wheelchair, I've not been able to use it because of the torrential rain, we've been having. Our local Post Office is almost as bad as yours, the Post Master is an absolute pain in the butt, he talks, or rather, lectures ever customer about what ever thei business may be, I went to buy some Euros and whist the queue was snaking behind me, out of the entrance door, into the blinding rain, he started lecturing me about the variable rates of the Euro, which I already knew, thus informing him, that I'd already checked on-line, Then he went on to ask me where I was going to for my holiday, I nearly said China, that would have shut him up!
When I eventually dragged myself from the counter, I could hear the tutting and clucking, and feel the glares upon me
of at least twenty people, as I huried out, head down!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Gleds. I am shocked at the fine. So heartless. Hi, Di. Your postmaster sounds a nightmare!


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