Thursday May 26, 2005

Miami is "A Rebours"

Cross the Street!! [Contributed by Veronica Fernandes]

In Italy (where I come from), when you say Miami you mean (99% without knowing it) Miami Beach. But when you’re suddenly going to Miami and you have less than two days to book a flight and find a place to live, you discover a very useful and practical thing: the map.

Miami is a different city from Miami Beach. Why didn’t anybody tell me that? What is Miami, anyway?

Answer 1: “Miami is Cuba – you better learn Spanish.” – Rachel, 15 years old

Answer 2: “Miami is the future of Italy (??)” – Carlo Rossella, Italian journalist

Answer 3: Miami is a rebours.

As soon as I realized that Miami mysteriously and successfully eliminated every single person who liked walking, I decided to prove that I could walk without any problem: spiritual way of facing problems. “Oh, there are some cars honking, probably they wanna tell me that I’m very cute in the morning.” When I think of my very first day in Miami, I smile with a very patient and enigmatic smile: I almost died under a truck because I crossed one second after the green.

Now I am in India, where they have one of the most interesting traffic rules in the civilized world. Every car, truck, bus, rickshaw, and bike has a big sign on the back that says “horn please.” When the driver hears someone honking he checks what’s behind him, and if it’s bigger, he humbly lets it pass, otherwise he starts hurtling insults. If a driver has to turn, he puts his hand out of the window: if the driver on the other side waves him in, the first one can turn. Otherwise no luck. If you don’t believe me, check the Lonely Planet. Last, but very important: because of all this, the pedestrians are not even considered (and they can’t honk), so when they wanna cross the street they start screaming out loud, “stop! stop! stop! stop!” and then start running. After all that, Miami seems pretty safe.

Not knowing Delhi, I decided that walking was too dangerous, so I tried the public transportation: very fast efficient way to bring a piece of Iceland in Florida. (And this is the last time I use the words “fast and efficient” in the same sentence as “Miami public transportation”). As I have a scientific mind, let me try to develop my thoughts in an outline:

Pros
While you wait you can
· have more than one ice-cream
· read a whole book in Japanese and find out what every single character means. (Actually, you could write an English-Japanese dictionary and sell it, with the book, to someone who’s waiting for the bus with you. Be organized and bring paper.)
· think at least 157 times of how beautiful the sunrise was (when you got up soooo early to be at work on time)

Cons
· sometimes your bus arrives but you miss it, because the old Cuban lady you met is waiting for another bus and you feel to rude interrupting her while she’s talking about her dead husband.|

As someone said, after irony there is love.

[Previously: Bye Veronica!]

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  1. cohen    Thu May 26, 10:16 PM #  

    miami is a city most should get to know,,,, including those who live on miami beach,

  2. Chad Harris    Fri May 27, 02:53 AM #  

    Oh my God Veronica we miss you so much. It’s horrible in this damned city without you.

  3. Jeroen Nelemans    Fri May 27, 08:57 AM #  

    It took me more than a year to appreciate Miami.
    As a native of the Netherlands, i can honestly say that i miss my bike rides. My biggest con for Miami is its infra-structure, which almost seems based upon drive by restaurants…