In the past six months people have been digging up and repairing our street at least four times. Granted, there’s a lot of building going on along it and that taxes this former country road quite heavily. And all those buildings have to be connected to water and gas and all kinds of cables running under the street. And so the back road which has been promoted to city street because of all the new appartment blocks rising up along it, has never been much more than a bumpy, pot-holed and muddy affair.
Until last Monday, that is. The town sent over a truck, three guys and one of those vibrating machines. And a sign saying Stiamo lavorando per voi – we are working for you. One guy sprinkled tar in ruts and holes, his two colleagues shovelled crushed tarmac from the truck bed over it, and the tar guy then got his vibrating machine out to compact the mixture into a new patch of tarmac. Excellent, top job, splendid. Until…
Yesterday morning we woke up to the familiar sound of the cold planer – a machine which cuts away the top surface of a tarmac road. Two whole days after the city fixed our street, the gas utilities company Metangas is ripping it open again. As I write this, they have scratched their way through about a kilometer of road – most of it newly repaired patches.
Yeah, that’s efficiency for you… I was going to write “Italian” efficiency, but when I called my brother and told him the story, he said it sounded just like our native city of Rotterdam.