Australia vs Italy: Street laws

Oh, Italy, land of pizza, wine, and mafia. Where houses are yellow and every town speaks a different dialect. Oh, Australia, home of unique animals, blonde surfers, and Vegemite. Both are places that I have the privilege to call home at this time in my life. And from an insider's point of view I can disclose a few of the main differences between the two. Before you ask: no, they don't ride kangaroos Down Under. At least, not on week days.

Australia vs Italy: street laws

Talking about transportation in Australia, there is a high chance anything you would do in your car is illegal here. Do you smoke in your car in Italy? You would get fined here. Do you drive too close to the car in front of you? Fined. Do you drive with your elbow slightly sticking outside the window? Fined. Do you have a scented tree dangling from the rear mirror?

You guessed it.

But if you were getting worried about how to tie your dog so that it won't move in the vehicle, don't bother! Dogs can run free in your car.

Also, it took me a while to understand why I never had to wait ages for cars to drive past before being able to cross the street on zebra crossing. As a matter of fact, the drivers' surprised expression is explained by the fact that cars have to stop when pedestrians are approaching. For real! Not like in Italy, where they stop only during the drivers exam and good luck after that. That's why in Europe it's almost an international sport to cross anywhere outside the lines.

They call it 'jaywalking' here, it's obviously illegal, and we don't even have a word for it in Italian!

This is something I found very hard to deal with even when I lived in England: cars drive on the opposite side of the street. Please, don't give me the usual "This is the right side", because ours is, literally, the right side. And when I need to cross the street I still look the wrong way, which is, let's say, not ideal. An easy way to recognise a tourist here is to pay attention to the side of the sidewalk they are walking on. I still tend to walk keeping my right, and I always end up bumping into everyone.

How exotic.

One last thing.

I would like to formally apologise to all the people behind me on the escalator that couldn't go past me because I tend to stand in the middle of the damn thing holding on to the handrails for my dear life. I am not trying to piss you off, or slow you down on purpose, we all know that time is money and money is pizza.

Image: via

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