Friday, November 16, 2012

Vegetable lasagna

I had taken the other metro line (the dreaded line B) to the bus stop. Despite its size, Rome has only two metro lines. Because every time they try to build additional metro lines, they run into another ancient building that just has to be preserved, which ruins it for everyone who uses public transportation. (OMG total unintentional and yet super awesome pun--ruins/ ancient ruins . Nice.) Seriously, Rome is drowning in old.  Can we not just be happy with the all the ancient that's already here and get going on the metro line?

 Waiting to get on the same bus as I were four women on their way to work. The five of us stood there, twiddling our thumbs. One woman was younger than I and very tall. (I have noticed that there are two types of women here. Women who are my height--there are 2 or 3 of us--and women who are very tall.)  She had a bob hairstyle  that stuck out at gravity defying angles. I later sat behind her on the bus and saw that she had bobby pins all over her head. I couldn't help but wonder if she had put them in while her hair was wet to create volume but forgot to take them out.

Another woman had short curly hair and wore leggings and a blouse that didn't cover everything her leggings showcased. She was overweight, which is worth noting because of ***drum roll***the leggings. People, I know I am but an ignorant American who does not possess the innate European sense of style. But at this point I really feel I understand leggings.  If you are wearing them, there are certain parts of the body that need to be covered by another piece of fabric. Unless you look like a swimsuit model who has been photoshopped. Then you can wear whatever you want. But the rest of us need to know our limits and follow the legging rule. If your leggings  are stretched so thin that I now know the color of your underwear, they are pantyhose.

The other two women were speaking to each other in English but each had a different accent, so English must have been their common language. I am practically a linguist at this point. I can totally tell when someone is speaking English. Although I hear it so rarely it does take me a minute to realize that I understand what is being said.

Our bus pulled up. We started to line up to get on, and then the bus pulled away. Empty and without us on it. We looked at one another and stared after the bus. If I wasn't still working on my basic Italian (Buongiorno, come va? I still pronounce bene like bien. My Italian teacher loves me.), I would have inquired as to why that had happened. However, as no one seemed as surprised as I , maybe this was normal?

As we had been getting ready to board the bus, we were now closely grouped together.I realized the smell of marijuana hung thickly in the air. Of course I tried to suss out the culprit. The obvious suspect was the young woman. That would totally explain the bobby-pins and awkward hair. But it wasn't her. I had to rule out the mature professionally dressed women as well. Which left (I want to call her Vegetable Lasagna from the Seinfeld episode when Elaine and Puddy are arguing in the airplane. It doesn't really make sense, but we are going with that.) the woman in the short green blouse, sheer leggings, and underwear, aka Vegetable Lasagna.

She had to have been the pot smoker. Why does this matter? I don't know. What else are you going to do while waiting for a bus?

The bus looped around again, and everyone tensed, ready to make a run for it. This time the driver stopped and opened the doors. Bobby Pins got on. I got on. Then, right as Vegetable Lasagna got on, the bus driver shut the doors on her. I don't mean that he shut her out of getting on the bus. He literally shut them on her and she was now trapped between the doors like she was the prosciutto between two slices of bread. She screamed at the driver in Italian and he started yelling at her in return and he did not open the doors to free her. Bobby Pins didn't even look up, but I was practically standing up to get a better view of this. I suspected the bus driver was an undercover member of the leggings police and he was holding her captive until she agreed to cover up.

The driver finally opened the doors and the woman got on and continued to berate him at top volume (rightly so). And he continued to scream at her. I can't imagine what he was yelling about, seeing as how it was pretty much all his fault.  It shouldn't have been funny, but it really was. If I could have understood what was being said, I'm sure it would have been less surreal and more horrifying. But as it was, seeing the bus driver and Vegetable Lasagna screaming at each other was a show I couldn't stop watching.

Vegetable Lasagna sat down, still tossing out angry barbs, the other two women got on, and the bus pulled away. The driver was now smiling and laughing and talking to a still steaming Vegetable Lasagna (Steaming! Another pun. I am so rocking it!). He had apparently decided to forgive Vegetable Lasagna for getting caught in the doors when he shut them on her.

I have seen this before, a quick explosion of anger and gestures and suddenly there are smiles and friendly waves. I have had it happen to me when I am driving and I forget to honk the horn. If you aren't honking your horn, you are part of the problem. We all have to honk while driving, even if we are sitting at a red light.

I ended up getting off at the same stop as Vegetable Lasagna. As she stood to exit, the driver asked her if she was okay. She launched into another tirade and he continued to smile and laugh as though they had resolved this issue and were now fondly reminiscing about "the time I shut the doors on you and you were stuck halfway on the bus, and halfway out. That was a good one." Did you ever notice how many rap songs contain the word "reminisce"?

 Quite frankly, I can't imagine this bus scene ever happening in America. The ensuing lawsuits would be off the hook. Pun number 3. ENSUING LAWSUITS. I am on fire!

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