This morning after I did my usual round as the mommy taxi, I came home grabbed my bike and shot off towards a meeting for work. I was only 5 meters from my doorstep when my bike started making a huge rickety rackety noise loud enough to make people stare when I passed. The noise kept getting louder and louder, after a few more meters my bike became impossible to pedal. I got off my bike and looked at my rusted chain, and saw a few strings of something wrapped around the wheel axle. My fruit vendor who was watching all of this yelled, ‘Cosa succede?’ (what’s wrong) I say ‘my bike is broken.’ then I remember.. ‘Hey, didn’t you say you had a friend who fixed bikes?’ I ask. (and he did tell me this although I don’t remember when) he replies with ‘ormai..’ which is really irritating because in that one little tiny 5 letter word he is telling me something similar to ‘it’s a bit late now, you should have called him a long time ago now he has no time to fix your bike.’ I make a funny face when he’s not looking, even if I’m well out of my 20’s.
Then I say to him, ‘ehhh, va beh,’ which can mean an entire range of things from ‘that’s fine’, ‘whatever’ or ‘oh well’, and depending on the tone it can also mean, ‘alright for you,’ or ‘we’ll see about that’ or ‘okay now I know where we stand, fruit man’ whatever it is, as soon as I say it Franco my fruit man says to me ‘let me have a look at it.’ he says this in Italian of course.
THIS leads to him and other fruit man pulling 10 meters of balloon ribbon out of front tire and chain, (we do a lot of birthday parties by bike) putting and entire can of WD40 on my chain and bell, and filling up both front and back tire. It takes them 30 minutes. I offer to pay them. They say no. I offer to buy them a coffee. They tell me no, don’t worry about it… just remember where to buy your fruit.
I pedal off on my newly tuned Rossignoli Bicycle and smile, I just love this country..