In my last post, I complained tongue in cheek about my lengthy hair appointment. There are much more serious problems in Italy. Secondo me, Italy is a country on the decline. I’m not smart enough to give you a sociopolitical analysis. I can only tell you what I see and how it affects me and my family.

For just about any situation or problem, you’ll hear people say they can’t change it; it’s impossible, I’m not responsible or it’s going to take a long time because Italy is like this. Is “Italy” a person who is responsible for fixing everything and he/she is too damned busy and that’s why nothing happens? No one else appears to be responsible, that’s for sure.

Why am I on this particular rant today? This is what happened yesterday. Every morning, I drive the boys to their respective schools. (That’s right, no school buses.) First we drop Russell off then Duilio. As you leave Russell’s school, you ascend a steep hill and pass through a large metal gate to the parking area. The gate has a “people” gate to go through. It was very windy yesterday morning; I passed through the small gate with Duilio a few steps behind me. Just before he passed through, a strong gust of wind took the large gate, whipping it against him throwing him to the ground and against the wall. We are so fortunate that he came away with only a bump on the head. The poor kid was terrified, shaking and crying. I calmed the poor little guy down and took him to school.

I immediately called my husband. We determined the best course of action was to call the director of the schools. Someone needed to fix that gate before another child got hurt. This is a nursery school. I can only imagine what could happen if it were one of the little ones. He called but she wasn’t there yet (naturally, it is only 8:30 am). The person who answered the phone said they were not responsible (of course) and that my husband needed to write a letter (What the #$#@?). He was told that the director will call him which she didn’t. Later in the morning, he sent an e-mail summarizing the situation and adding that we’ll pursue other avenues if it isn’t resolved. That got a response. The director called him. By the time I went to pick up Russell, the gate has been “fixed” with wire and plastic tie-wraps. This took several hours to resolve instead of the first person to answer the phone simply calling the nursery school and telling them that something must immediately be done about the gate.

By the way, the gate has been broken since school started. The rod that goes into the ground to hold the gate in place is broken and the heavy chain and lock hang uselessly. They use only the steel pin which slides out. Why? My guess is they don’t want to walk up the hill to open the gate when the lunch truck arrives. A teacher at the school told me today that they have sent a request to the city to fix the gate several months ago but things are slow in Italy. Apparently she’s also the building manager and said she didn’t know what happened yesterday until she got a call around 11:00 am. What? She doesn’t walk through the flippin’ gate every morning? A makeshift fix couldn’t have been put in place until the city fixed it?  When your kids are involved, you know what excuses are like….

I can’t help but think that this attitude has something to do with the position that Italy is in now. Who knows if it is cause or effect? All I know is that it takes a different kind of attitude to make a country great.