Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Bassano del Grappa, several weeks ago.
My father is an occasional rally driver. My mother hates all this car races business so it's not talked too much at home and I've never been to any such event before.
So, I was about to leave Italy, my father was in the country.. and it was for the Bassano Rally. Obviously. My basic plan was to hang around Bassano, for sure they should have a municipal museum there, I had been there for a short visit a year ago, so why not.
And, I was apparently somewhat mislead by my mother's comments on low intelligence of the car guys and general idiocy of car races so I wasn't anything like eager to mess around.
Dad had some official business to do (a welcome from the Mayor or something) so he sent 'the guys' to pick me at the station, giving me a phone number of one. 'A blonde gal with big blue suitcase and even bigger black bag, at the 2138 train', I told the guy and didn't think anything. There were three waiting at the platform, happily arguing who'll carry my things, fourth one waiting in the car, making silly jokes along the lines of Hey, Joe was afraid to go alone, he was afraid with one to accompany him, he was afraid even when there were two with him, so there's four of us.
I was driven to the depot, where the service trucks were parked and the service guys camped there. It was somehow a bigger affair than I had imagined. I was offered food, drink and several chairs, I was introduced to more mechanics and guys of unclear function than I was able to remember... and surprise surprise, despite my mom's depreciating comments, they were no arseholes.
It was dad's birthday. We went to eat out with four of the guys and as I happen to know Italian, I need to wait two events before the guys discuss it and tell dad back, who then tells mom, to hear how cool I am to speak Italian.
One of The Guys came to Bassano only to see the races and he had a car there so he offered to give me a ride to actually see something.
Not that the race would be that interesting as such, there're cars, engines burn 106 octane gasoline, exhaust gases are stinky... but it's fun. Also, the organizers simply closed off the local road and since it was all happeningin the mountains, to watch something, one either had to camp somewhere there or use even the more local local roads.
There was a stuffed fox in one bend. I asked one of the police guys why but he only shrugged; dad later said that it's apparently some local ongoing joke, that the fox was there even the year before and that he damn panicked because hitting any animal in, say, 150 km/h is not nice. Nor is it nice to get remnants of any animal from the car innards.
I spent all day messing around the cars. No nice pics from otherwise nice Bassano - I didn't get a chance to go downtown. Next time.