#28: Carabinieri and old people
Was walking up hill with grand plans to go for a run, when I spotted Claudia and her very elderly mother sitting outside their house under an umbrella.
They live in a huge, quintessentially Italian house - three floors of terracotta for three generations of Italian family, with a huge sprawling garden at the back and several rather lovely balconies overlooking the Apenines.
So, them sitting at the front of their house, where there is only a slither of pavement separating house from busy road, with nothing to see aside from other houses was very bizarre sight.
When I casually asked them what they were doing, Claudia replied ‘we watch car’, as if watching stationary cars in boiling heat is very normal pastime.
It transpired that thirty minutes earlier, her son’s fancy three wheeled scooter (very popular with Italian children) had gone missing from outside the house and Claudia and her mother had got it into their heads that the owner of this stationary car was the culprit.
In fact, they were so certain that this could be the only explanation, they’d phoned the Carabinieri (the Italian police) who were now circling the area and waiting for the owner of the car to arrive.
All very dramatic and Italian - felt like I had fallen into some sort of Italian drugs bust up.
Obviously I joined them as wanted to watch this epic Agatha Christie type episode unravel.
After around an hour of this car-patrol saga a very little, old Italian man shuffled up to the car with what was probably his great-grandson. Claudia and elderly mother sprung to their feet, all guns blazing; her mother waving her hands about, thrusting fingers in his face whilst Claudia repeatedly shouted ‘SHEME, SHEME’ and something about bad old men and prison.
Amazingly, this old man proceeded to put his hands in the air, apologise profusely, repeat over and over again ‘I am honest, I am good. I hurt no one’, open his boot and hand over the scooter.
The Carabinieri drove off, Claudia picked up said scooter and we all went home. Incredible.