Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Driving in Venice

So, I was standing at the water bus stop yesterday and something happened that I never saw before. The vaparetto driver, overshot the bus stop. He was going way too fast and couldnt slow down enough for the gate person to throw the rope over the dock anchor and draw him in.

That in itself was interesting to me since I had never seen it, but what happened next was more than amusing. Because he hit the bus stop docking station, he basically bounced off of it sideways and ended up halfway in the middle of the canal. His task was to back up and pull forward again closer to the dock. It was similar to needing to parallel park.

Have you every tried to parallel park a large boat? Perhaps its possible if you knew what you were doing, but add to that all the other traffic around you. Gondolas leaving the dock with a new set of tourists. Water taxis trying to get to their appointed destination. And supply/delivery boats trying to get around so they can dock also. Remember, there are no street lines in the water...every man for himself.

It was chaos. Cats and dogs living together. The people on the vaparetto wondering if they will ever get to exit. People on the dock wondering if they should just walk. And people on gondolas wondering if they are going to get hit. It took more than one attempt to get it right and it goes without saying that the boat was more than a few minutes late.

If you translate what happened on the water to a road/car situation, you would have easily had an 8 car pileup and a headline story for the 5pm news. Instead, I imagine that the most that will be shared about this event is some ribbing from coworkers once they hear about his motoring skills. In his defense, I guess we could be say that no one was hurt and he provided me a short story for my blog...thanx guy!

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