Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Navigating . . .

. . . the maelstrom

The maelstrom that is downtown Napoli, that is.

Even with the complexity of today's automobiles, recalls are relatively rare. However, rarity doesn't help when:
a. Your new vehicle has only 3,000 miles on the odometer, and
b. You just had it shipped 4,645 miles to a foreign country.

Italy, for example.

Yep, our new Ford Escape was recalled to reprogram the control module for the automatic transmission.

Fortunately, Ford has an extensive presence in Italy so there is a Ford concessionaire in Naples. That's the good news. The bad news is that the Ford concessionaire is in Naples.

I'm told that Naples is the second most densely populated city in the world - just behind Tokyo. That, however is not true.

With 4,100 people per sq. km., Naples is 55th on the list - on a par with Leeds/Bradford and Manchester in the UK. London, by the way is number 43, with a density of 5,100 per sq. km.

None of that is comforting, though, considering where I had to drive a vehicle that is approximately 25% larger than most cars on Naples' streets.

I was in this area. The photos don't look too bad, but traffic density was at least five times that evidenced here. It was simply wall-to-wall cars, three wide, with nary a metre nose-to-tail anywhere.

Evidence, you ask? Distance - 4.5 km. Driving time - 30 minutes. Average speed - 9 kph (5.6 mph). Hardly nosebleed velocity.

I made it there and back with nary a scratch. Although, I had to "go Napolitani" on a few folks. (Translated: No quarter asked, none given). I call it Driving under the Black Flag. Banastre Tarleton would have been proud.