Yesterday evening, I had a date. Ssshhh, don't tell anyone. I'm madly in love with a ragazzo who's not my husband. We were off to Cannobio's lakeside for a surreptitious pizza before going back to my place.
Driving along the lungolago, we were stopped in our tracks by a river of people, streaming in all directions like the water down Carmine streets in a cloudburst. A Land Rover Defender labelled 'carabinieri' was in attendance (which always means several far-too-big guns), as were two local municipal police officers, and we carefully eased our way through the crush.
So what could this unexpected disturbance be? Was there a man-hunt under way? Was a suspicious parcel being at that moment 'made safe' in the back room of Cantina Ferro, forcing an exodus of drinkers into the streets? Or perhaps the Cannobio crochet circle had just broken up.
The men in the crowd reminded me of the fans exiting Arsenal football stadium after being beaten by Chelsea 2-1 in the last minute - heads down, shoulders sagging, low muttering. On the other hand, the women seemed for the most part vivacious, almost in festive mood, and many flirting gaily with one particular officer who is usually to be found engaged in similar duties with the mamas outside the scuola materna of an afternoon. Curioser and curioser. All in all, it reminded of the Star Ferry Terminal Hong Kong-side at rush hour.
Yes, that was it. The ferry. The very same ferry as pictured coincidentally in yesterday's post and rather hopefully titled The Daily Commute. For many who wouldn't normally be seen dead on a ferry on a work day, this week has been pretty much of a strain. The bad weather brought a landslide on the lake road - the only commutable route through to Switzerland, and work for so many Italians in this area - and it has been closed for several days.
But let's look on the bright side (have you noticed this week's theme?). It has brought some additional revenue for the ferry company. There have been fewer juggernauts on the road to scare the living daylights out of Mama as they barrel round the tight curves. There have been some additional flirting opportunities for our favourite police officer, a few more early morning pre-ferry espressos sold by the nearest caffe', and, most importantly, something to talk about with my date, as we shared our marguerita, sipped on our apple juice and watched the goings on through the pizzeria window.
And just before he dropped into an exhausted sleep last night, my ragazzo gallantly kissed my winter-weathered hand and murmured, "I love you, Mama. Tell me again. What's a landslide?".
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