Thanks for your comments. Jane met a friend in Italy that she had not seen in 26 years. He works now as a tour guide, having left a certain organization in the last few years.
He has never been to the US and we were talking about the differences between Rome and Los Angeles. His impression was that traffic in L.A. is the worst in the world. My daughter Erin spoke up and said she had never seen worse traffic than in Rome.
I guess it's just different traffic. we are used to our L.A. traffic.
I will say that the whole time we were in Rome, we only saw one traffic accident, and it was very minor. Just a tap on the fender during one of the rain storms. The two Italian men yelled at each other and made wild gestures, but never got out to even look for damage. It was entertaining to watch. Here, when there is a traffic accident, often, people get killed because we drive 80 MPH every where we go.
The most polite drivers we saw were in Interlaken, Switzerland. It seemed as if they could read my mind. If I even thought about stepping into the street, every car for a mile radius immediately stopped and waited for me. It was almost scary.
I was a bit worried, being an American in some of the countries right now with the election, and with our involvement in Iraq. I'm aware of how unpopular the US is right now because of Iraq. But, we did not have a single instance of anyone being rude to us over anything political. Of course, we didn't go out of our way to get into politics. When someone asked where we were from, we would usually tell them we were from California and live a few minutes away from Hollywood.
We met some rude people, interestingly at many of the religious sites like The Vatican and at the church that has "The Last Supper" painting. But, they were rude to everyone.
For the most part, the people we met were wonderful, and seemed happy we were there and excited to meet us. We felt very welcome, and I never felt in danger, even when walking around Rome in the wee hours of the morning. That is something I can't say about Los Angeles.