Incisa in Val D’Arno: Part I, The Vehicle

I came to Florence two weeks ago with the goal to play on an Italian water polo team. I arrived on a Tuesday, but had about a week before practice started. I spent three days sightseeing in Florence, visiting the smaller things I had never seen (read about that here). By Friday, due to the heat and crowds, I decided to get out of the city. Recalling a place I visited with friends four years ago, I searched out a hotel that would be in the countryside.

What I found wasn’t as remote, but it had it’s own charms. What sold me on the hotel, besides the pool, was the stable and the possibility to ride. So, I rented a car.

I thought I was getting a Fiat Punto Evo, which seemed like a decently cool car. Instead I got the Fiat Cubo, which felt more like a mini work van. And was decidedly uncool.

The car drove me crazy. While the car was stopped and the clutch let out, the engine would turn off. It was like a Prius, except this car wasn’t a hybrid; it ran on diesel. I never could figure out when this would happen, as sometimes I would stop and the engine would stay on. This could be nice because it saves gas, but I just found it annoying. When I wanted to move, I would have to put in the clutch and wait for the car to start, adding an extra few seconds. If I forgot, I’d stall the car. This caused me to get late starts at stop lights and in traffic. I became that annoying unaware driver who waited too long to start or who would stall the car because he or she couldn’t drive stick.

So, besides being forced to be a driver I hate, the car had the nerve to tell me when to shift gears. If you revved the engine too much during acceleration, a little sign on the dash–“shift” with an upward arrow–would appear. The car and I had very different ideas of when the ideal shifting time is. (If it’s going to tell me when to shift, why doesn’t it just shift itself??) Damn you car, I shift when I want!!

It goes without saying, I don’t want to drive that car ever again. I am in control of the car. I tell it what to do. Not the other way around!

The Autostrada A1 on the way to Incisa

Me driving in Italy!

Categories: Interests, Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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