Thursday, September 4, 2008
A Slice of Life: Fun in Andria
Yesterday afternoon was spent in one of the most irritating ways possible...going to the dentist. Ours is in Andria, a town about a half an hour drive north of us (this is already irritating in and of itself. It's not like the States here, where a half an hour drive is a drop in the bucket, here a half an hour drive is a big deal!).
Andria is famous for its dairy products and organized crime. Neither of which were on offer at the dentist's office, although the cost of braces for two kids does feel a bit like extortion! And an hour in the waiting room had me ready and willing to commit at the very least some vandalism...
But, between shushing, threatening and physically seperating my sons during that hour, I had time to remember another exciting day in Andria some years ago...
My husband was there for work (at a dentist's office...what a coincidence) when his car was stolen from where it was parked right outside the door. In fact, the dentist's secretary saw the whole thing and said, "Mr. Grillo, they've stolen your car," without getting too agitated...after all, this was Andria, they're used to that kind of thing!
F. went running out to see what he could see (which was nothing 'cause the car was long gone) and was surrounded by various witnesses of the crime who basically said, "He went thataway!"
The next hour was spent driving around the "best" Andrian neighborhoods in search of our car.
Meanwhile, one of F's employees called him on his cellphone and...surprise, surprise...got the thief! Who, fair enough, said, "I'm not F. I'm the guy who stole his car. Tell him to bring me money!"
Which brings us to an interesting angle on the whole car-stealing industry. There are those who steal a car and send it off for sale in such interesting places as Albania; there are those who disassemble a stolen car and sell off the parts; and then there are those who ransom the car back to its rightful owner...we got one of those. Which, from a strangely practical point of view is...better? Well, not really, but at least you have some chance of getting your car back, if you can afford it!
To make a long story slightly shorter...F found his car parked in a dead end in a nasty corner of town and...hotwired it and stole it back! He even got his cellphone back because it was still in the car...whatta guy!
So, as you can imagine, I have mixed feelings about Andria and dentists in general.
And in a completely unrelated note...I found this picture to the left here while searching for images of Andria.
Maybe he's our thief!