Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Big fail, an update.

As Italian I grew up with this silly notion that the norther you travel the more respectful and aware of civil society rules the people are. 

I think this might have a lot do with stereotypes. All those movies and novels about Italians pasta pizza & mandolin, loud, so ready to bend the law for their personal interest. This is true, well maybe not the mandolin... 
On the other hand I relied a lot on other stereotypes too: the tidy Swiss, the polite Britons...

Fact is people are not much different anywhere in the world. They might be more repressed and refrained by taboo, hence the hordes of Brits getting wasted as there's no tomorrow in Benidorm in the summer and on the Alpine slopes in the winter.

But at the end we're all alike.

Take the story of the reserved lanes at Farnborough station, for example.
The first few days there were people in uniform, with the writing "Rail Community Officer" on top, to point out to people they shouldn't use those lanes. And drivers were all respectful of the new rules.
Days passed, the officers disappeared and, just like in Italy, some people kept following the rules, some (most) went back to use those 2 lanes.
So this morning, just like in Italy, the rail community officers were back, doubled in number and with a drastic increase on the average age. Obviously the reason why is to give a sign to people, to remember them that rules are to be followed and breaking of them will not be tolerated.

I can see how this is going to end, once the message has been delivered and the officers have gone back to their office to fix themselves a cup of tea. Obviously the people will understand and won't go back to misbehaving, because they come from a higher latitude than I do and they are going to follow the rules. 
How easy it is to fall into prejudices, isn't it?


  1. I agree. It is easier to judge a person based on a misconception than to actually try to learn more about them.

    I am Fickle Cattle.