Sunday, 15 April 2012

bumper cars...minus the bumping..?!

Now, I've been to a few places where the idea of health and safety is most definitely not a pressing issue. In Nairobi, watching people pass back and forth through one of those airport scanner thingies as if it was one of those swing gates in a supermarket has to be up there. (Furthermore, the only way to stop people from walking under the wing of a plane was a tiny little orange cone. You get the idea.)

Nairobi's extensive health and safety procedures.

But I wouldn't have put Italy into the 'rather alarming lack of health and safety regulation' category. Alas, rules seem to be rather lax in these parts. Here are a few examples for you.

  • SPOTTED! two teenage boys riding a moped at an alarming speed without helmets.
  • SPOTTED! man riding a moped at an alarming speed without a helmet whilst talking on a mobile phone.
  • SPOTTED! every single person without a seat belt on in their cars.
  • SPOTTED! man driving car minus seat belt, talking on a mobile phone.
  • SPOTTED! woman driving car minus seat belt, children (yes, plural) in front seat minus seat belt, talking on a mobile phone
                                                             need I continue?

Don't the police do anything about this? I asked, while at the same time getting my answer as I saw what looked like a member of the carabinieri driving minus seat belt and talking on a mobile phone. I guess not. Fastening your seat belt here results in two things. Number one- you feel safe and secure. And number two- you get looks of shock and disgust from Italians, causing you to feel terribly, TERRIBLY uncool. Almost worth not fastening to avoid THAT kind of look. While this lack of concern for safety does worry me occasionally, I can't help but wonder what's worse: lack of safety regulation or too much of it. In the UK, we have health and safety rules for everything. I mean, EVERYTHING. Even something so ridiculous as not throwing graduation caps in the air, lest they could fall on someone and 'hurt' them. Oh please. I launched mine quite violently. The Welsh one informed me recently that in the UK you can only drive around in one direction when riding bumper cars. They are even banned from bumping altogether at Butlins. Erm, WHAT? Sorry, but I'm with the Italians on this one. And I believe I proved this only the other day, by jumping into a bumper car (after watching said head height fireworks, albeit at a distance) and zooming around, BUMPING and BASHING to my heart's content. (*cackles gleefully*)
Read some more 'barmy' UK health and safety rules HERE...


  1. Amy, what a fabulous blog!

    I will try out your simple carbonara dish this week. I've always been taught to add cream, 11 eggs and three different types of cheeses (Ok, that's an exaggeration) but nevertheless, it is always yuk.

    Italy does sound like its rather dangerous on the health and safety front. Abu Dhabi is similar. Check out our road safety statistics:

    What grates me more over here is you often find Mum and Dad securly buckled up at front and 6 children plus maids unbuckled in the back.

    At work, I once suggested we run a CSR campaign about strapping children in. A really intelligent and well thought of colleague who has lived in the UAE all her life responded with 'Why, there is no need. Children don't get hurt if they are kept in the back.'

    How do you change that mentality?

    Anyway, I hope, despite the looks, you remain faithful to the buckling up rule and like me, only use your phone for simple BBMing and internet google searches whilst driving....Jokes.

    Keep up the blogging!

  2. Hi Celeidh,

    I'm glad you like the blog! I'm amazed I even managed to put it together as I'm usually a complete technophobe! People seem to be reading the food themed posts the most so I'll make sure I add some more recipes (including lasagne- so good!) and you can have a go at those too! The carbonara IS so simple- like most of the cooking here. The ingredients are just so good, that not much more is needed.

    Your idea of a campaign for car safety sounded great. Such a shame that the mentality there is like it is. It's similar here. But they simply won't change. Especially if foreigners come along and start 'preaching', even when they are genuinely trying to help.

    My colleague also saw a guy filling up his car with petrol the other day. Whilst taking on a mobile phone. And SMOKING. Good grief.

    Am really pleased that you took the time to comment. Lovely to hear your thoughts, and I'll be checking out your blog too!

    Amy :)