I will never forget the day in 1989 when I was living in Rome and learning the in’s and out’s of life in Italy when I found myself in a bank line on Via Veneto, just near the curve before the American Embassy and next to the Church of the Capuccin Monks (the one with all the crazy skulls and bones), where there was a sign inside the bank that read “E’ Vietato Fumare” (Smoking is Prohibited). Yet in front of me there were three people in line, and in front of them and behind the glass was a middle aged Italian woman bank clerk puffing away on a cigarette and blowing smoke all over the place. One of the people in front of me waiting to get some lira said out loud to her ” C’e’ scritto E’ Vietato Fumare!” (The sign says no smoking!). The lady clerk looked at him almost incredulously and yelled to him “Non per noi, per Voi” (Not for us, for you!) as if he was crazy.
I love this story for two reasons, I remember that this was one of the first times I was starting to understand Italian (and the Italians for that matter), and also because I have been reminded by this episode each year somewhere, somehow in other occurances but with the same do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude. This article in the UK Telegraph has a perfect example of this courtesy of the global warming crowd. By and large this is a very hypocritical group of people wanting you to completely rearrange your life for Global Warming Climate Change while they can not worry about it because their work is so important and elevated. I miss the Lira and the Rome of 1989. That was a great time.