Bus 13 – Che Casino!!
I have oft not written about some ‘darker’ sides to Italian life here. Mostly because even when they are annoying me, they are still massively amusing.
One of these is the nearly constant presence of teenagers. Within a mile of my house there are several universities and high schools. I have learned to eat lunch before 1:00 or its a clusterfuck until at least 2:30. This is because the high school gets out around 1:00, and the entire student population must immediately eat lunch, or hop on the nearest bus to head out of the piazza. So, walking down the street around that time is akin to trying to walk through Lenox Mall on a Saturday during the holidays. Hordes of loud, over-emotional, and completely clueless kids everywhere. Every pizza or kebab shop has a line out the door, and perish the thought that the kids would actually make room for people trying to just walk down the street. So, I’ve adopted the same stance I do in Atlanta, and I just shove the bitches out of the way…it’s expected, and oh so enjoyable. Even if they get mad, I’m two feet taller than even the scruffiest boy…. And this is all just during the day!
On the weekend, it becomes “che casino” or something like that. Specifically, the bus lines that run towards Piazza Vittorio, the ‘Buckhead Village’ (in its heyday) of Turin.
So, last Saturday, on my way home from MD’s dinner party (and most nights when I leave her house), I had to ride the Bus 13 home. I’ve nicknamed it the Disco Bus, since after 10 pm it becomes a rolling party. Keep in mind that you can basically drink at any age here, so it’s packed with kids ranging from 15 to 20 somethings.
For example, on this night, I saw the exact same trio of Italians sharing a 2 liter of coke while waiting for the bus at the station. I’m assuming of course that there was an alcoholic portion to this beverage, because otherwise, it’s just weird. Much like in America, the kids travel in sex-segregated packs like wolves. And, like wolves, there is always an Alpha dog who clearly controls the conversation. There is often a Zeta, a ‘wannabe,” one also, usually chubbier and clearly the butt of several jokes. The girls dress as slutty as humanly possible, and cackle incredibly loudly about the boys around them, while of course completely ignoring their lascivious stares. There is also much texting, cell phone usage, cell-phone music playing, and on-bus drinking.
This particular night was even worse, as it was warmer than it had been recently. One girl, I’m quite certain was well aware of the fact that ivory cashmere is mostly see-through. The trio of drinking buddies was in full force, and what looked like half the population of the finest guidos of New Jersey started to pile on the bus. I should also mention that this bus line also goes to the most expensive part of town, so there are always knowing looks shared amongst the well-off older riders and a lot of eye-rolling.
I enjoyed the loud rendition of “Napoli Napoli, Ole Ole Ole!!” that the slutty girls began chanting and were quickly joined in singing. The old lady in front of me looked like she was about to have a heart attack. At last we arrived in Piazza Vittorio, the last stop, and the kids stumbled off into the night, still singing at the top of their lungs….
In this foto is one of the many bars around the piazza. Keep in mind it is winter, but people continue to stand around outside drinking and socializing. In the summer, at 2 or 3 AM, the entire piazza is full of people (which would fill up this entire picture) spilling into the street. However, UNLIKE America, people in general aren’t shooting each other, getting trashed to the point of needing an ambulance, and there isn’t much of a police presence in need of riot gear….
~ by Daniel on November 23, 2009.