Tuesday, May 24, 2005

What is equivalent to riding a roller coster but only more dangerous?

Sitting in the front seat of a taxi in Italy, or Taormina to be more precise.

A colleague of mine, my advisor, a professor from Mexico and myself went up to Taormina from Giardini di Naxos for dinner on the 16th of May during our conference there. After a very hearty meal (and quite a few beers and a couple of bottles of wine, I might add) we hired a cab back to Naxos Beach Resort where we were staying. As soon as we were seated, the cab driver zipped off. He went at nearlt 150 km/hr on a winding road down to Naxos (Taormina is on a hill). All of us were shocked at the speed (not exactly at the speed, rather where he decided to speed). I was sitting up front and turned back to see my advisor. At that instant we all started laughing. The driver, thinking that we were having fun, went even faster!!!!

Luckily for us, we hit traffic (1 slow car in a narrow street is traffic) as we reached the bottom of the hill into Naxos. We relaxed and started talking about the conference, when suddenly we felt accelaration. I turned up front and saw that the "safety" car in front of us was no more and our friend was speeding along the backstreets of Naxos at 170 km/hr!!!!! This was when I came up with the title of this post. It certainly felt more exciting than sitting in a roller coaster - but hell it was certainly more dangerous. We were again laughing, but that was nervous laughter. All of us breathed a collective sigh of relief as we got off the cab at the hotel.

I don't think I will ever forget that moment. These guys play Need for Speed for real in their back streets. No wonder F1 is like religion there.

Forza Italia!!!!

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