Black Friday in Italy…


…is not a good thing like our Black Friday!! In Italy, it is indicative of a day of  sciopero (strike) !!  Italy is used to strikes – someone always seems to striking for one thing or another.  Most Italians shrug their shoulders and say “ci arrangiamo” (we’ll get by and make it work). 

Tomorrow, March 11th, has been designated as a strike day for the transportation sector.  Trains, planes, busses,  metros…and even naval transportation all plan to be affected.  Even the fire department and some medical personnel are taking a break!!!  Everyone will be incrociando le braccia (folding their arms).  This strike is meant to disrupt business as employees are going to find it difficult to get to work.   What they are striking for isn’t completely clear to me, but it looks like they want to make sure that big business and government treat and pay their employees fairly! 

Even though Italians may be used to these inconveniences, major havoc can ensue in the big cities…and the poor traveler, not used to these things and who may have made arrangements or reservations, may get a bad taste in their mouths for Italy.   As I used to say to my kids when they were little:  It’s a good thing you’re cute!!!  Italy is the same….it’s a good thing it’s so beautiful that it allows forgiveness for some of its misgivings!!!

Today I will wake up and strike!!

2 responses »

  1. Yeah – they do this all the time. The good thing is normally they will announce it, to include the hours, ahead of time. They were normally on Fridays too, come to think of it. Phrases like, “Don’t forget the strike this Friday, you won’t be able to take a train to xxx” or “That’s right, no buses are running until 21:00” were just part of living there. Then they go back to work and no one thinks anything of it.

    BTW – since when are “Black Fridays” a good thing in the US? That is the day that I cross my arms, refuse to leave my house or buy a damned thing – I’m on a “holiday-centered commercialism strike” every year from the first appearance of Halloween junk in the stores (August now, is it?) through whenever the last disgusting Cadbury egg, peep, & jelly bean is marked down and sold to someone that probably should be at the gym.

    Ooh – Val just ran out of coffee beans can you tell? Back on track now…

    • Yea you are right about Black Friday…I don’t go out either with all those crowds (unless I am in S.F. And just want to be part of the Christmas excitement but don’t plan on shopping!) but the retailers like it because they finally see a profit! Ha! Ha! And I am with you about timing! Christmas belongs in the store with Santa’s arrival on Black Friday…and no sooner!

      But back to Italy…beware of gli scioperi!! My parents got stuck in the middle of one once when travelling to Italy. They were supposed to land at Malpensa in Milan, but someone on the ground decided to stike, so they got diverted to Rome. By the time they were supposed to land in Rome, the stike ended in Milan, so they went back!!! After an 11 hour flight, needless to say they were not very pleased with their homeland!!

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