Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, is a history in itself.
My dad visited it few years ago. He and his colleagues had to go some place in Venice, where they had a business meeting with another party.So they had booked a tour guide and a canoe ride from a tour agency which provides canoe tours on the Grand Canal.
He and two of colleagues were waiting for the tour guide to come, so that they could embark on the journey.
As they were waiting near the blue canoe (as they were told that their canoe would be blue in colour), they saw that there was a a scooter parked in between the stairs and near the canoe.A minute later the tour guide came.
On seeing them looking at the scooter he said-“Some boys keep jumping inside the canoe and make it dirty, so I have parked my scooter in between. Come on gentlemen, let’s start the ride.”
The moment they all got inside the canoe, a police man’s whistle was heard-“whee, whee” and the policeman came and stood right beside the scooter and started noting the scooter registration number.
The tour guide said to my dad-“Un momento”, and he left the boat.
By good luck that policeman turned out to be the brother -in-law of the tour guide and he was initially surprised that some one would park his scooter so near to the water way and to alert the owner of the scooter he was blowing his whistle.
Their conversation was as follows-
The cop-” Ciao, Peter, isn’t this your scooter?”
The tour guide (Peter)- ” Yes, Simone,you know that already.”
The Cop ( Simone)-“I was about to make a note in my diary,then I realized that the scooter was yours,as I recognized the scooter number. ”
Scratching his head he continued-“Isn’t this the one which Serena gave you for your last birthday?”
Simone-“How come you dare to leave this scooter parked over here and go for a canoe ride?”
Peter-“It is my job.”
Simone-“It is your job, to leave this beauty on the sidewalk of the water way and go for a canoeing ride”?
Peter-“Don’t patronize me”.
Simone-“I am patronizing you? My little sister Serena, brought this scooter for you with all her life savings and you leave it here like this?”
Peter-“Simone, don’t waste my time. I have got a job to do.”
Simone-“I have got a job to do as well.I will tell Serena about this and I will see to it,that she confiscates this scooter from you.”
Peter-“Have you gone mad? You insane person!”
By this time a crowd had gathered around them.
Simone-:”What did you call me? Who do you think you are?”
Peter-“Who do you think you are?”
Simone-“I am an Italian police officer who is walking the beat.”
Peter-“Then, go and walk your stupid beat.”
Simone-“I have had enough. For illegally parking this scooter, near the stairway, you are hereby fined one hundred and fifty euros.”
Saying so, he made out a ticket and handed it over to his brother-in-law.
Peter-“I am your brother-in-law. How can you do this to me?”.
Simone-“At this juncture, I don’t recognize you as anybody but a civilian, who has committed a traffic cum parking offense.”
Peter-“I don’t believe this nonsense. Here goes your traffic ticket”, saying so he simply, tore the ticket into pieces.”
Simone-“That would be another two hundred euros, since,I have to issue you another ticket.” Saying so, he issued another ticket , handed it over to Peter and while putting his pen back, inside his pocket, he said-“Oh, don’t bother, I will make sure that Serena hears about this and if she doesn’t confiscate your scooter, I swear to God, I will change my name. I know my sister very well.She won’t like you at all, when I will inform her about your misdoings.Now goodbye”.
Now Peter had started crying. He was howling and shaking his fists towards the sky.
He had completely forgotten about my father and his colleagues and Simone came and spoke to my dad and he said that he would speak with the tourism agency to provide them with a new tour guide and he was sorry for the inconvenience, but the traffic law is a law after all to be followed. So, he called up the agency and arranged for a new tour guide and by the time the new tour guide came, Peter was still crying and looking very crestfallen. Simone had left by then and Peter was sitting on his scooter gloomily. Then a new tour guide came and he went to speak to Peter, but Peter wouldn’t speak with him and asked him to get lost.One of my dad’s colleagues knew Italian, so he told the new tour guide in details about what had happened.The new guide told Peter-“don’t worry, I will take the ride.”The meeting which was supposed to take place between dad and his colleagues with another party got cancelled and the other party said that they would arrange the meeting another time, so luckily my dad and his colleagues got to tour the canal, in a beautiful blue canoe and when they came back after completing the ride, they found Peter still there. His wife Serena who was now there to take the scooter back home.Apparently, Simone had told her the whole episode and she had immediately gone and collected the ticket from her husband and had promptly paid the fines. She was asking her husband to resume his work and not to worry.She said that, she wouldn’t confiscate the scooter from him and off she went with her scooter.
Peter saw dad and his group, and he said-“I am sorry, for behaving like a child.I don’t like my brother-in-law at all, but he is a piece of real work.But my wife is very kind and merciful.She paid the fine from her monthly savings and now I know that she loves me a lot. I hope that my brother-in-law changes his name, because my lovely Serena has said that she wouldn’t confiscate the scooter from me.” He chuckled and got inside the canoe and suddenly Simone appeared there-“Well, well, Serena has paid the fines. Good for you having such a wife who pays for her husband’s utter disregard for traffic laws.”
Peter-“Don’t disturb me.I am on duty.”
Simone-“Well I am off duty now and I won’t change my name “. Saying so Simone took off.
Peter to my my dad and his colleagues-“See, I told you, he is a real piece of work.I knew it, that he wouldn’t change his name.Thank you to all for cooperating with me.”
This happening was translated by one of my father’s colleagues.