So I’m in my final week in Italy. I’m a bit sad about that. I’ve come to love Rome. It’s complete chaos. Vespa motor scooters buzzing around everywhere. Italians speaking loudly in the wonderful musical cadence that is Italian. Amazing cappuccinos. Fabulous pastries and gelatos. Not to mention you are surrounded by thousands of years of history. No matter which direction you look in, there’s an old church, some ancient ruin or stunning marble statue.

I took a stroll to the Pantheon last night and picked up an Italian cassata gelato. I glanced up to take in the spectacular building that is the Pantheon and then heard church bells peeling. People were milling about, laughing and talking. And the church bells kept ringing. I’ll miss this. But….today at work they informed me they need me back in March AND June of next year. I’m hoping that happens. You never know with consulting work: plans can shift or change.

Meanwhile, I’m panicking about how I’m going to haul all my stuff back to New Zealand. The green suitcase I bought in Hong Kong years ago has basically carked it and I’ve replaced it with a flashy red number, made in Italy. But it’s a little smaller than the green one and I could only just fit all my stuff in that suitcase.

I’ll have a four day turn around in NZ – just enough time to see if Zeph and Zsa Zsa remember me – then fly out to Malaysia and Thailand. So the Daily Rome will become the Daily Kuala Lumpur, then the Daily Bangkok. In November, it will return to the Daily Oxford. Oh, and I’ve made up my mind to learn Italian. No idea how I’ll do that in little old Oxford, NZ. I was going to learn French since my step-kids are French and there is Alliance Français in Christchurch. But I love the Italian language too much and I reckon that as you get older, you need to keep the brain active by learning heaps of new things.

Now, what was the point of this post? Oh yeah, to show you the Smart Car. You see these cuties everywhere in Rome. Sometimes they are parked in the tiniest of spaces and at the oddest of angles. It can be quite hilarious. Only the Italians can get away with this sort of parking mayhem. I saw a few Smart Cars in Oz when living there but I’ve not seen any in NZ. They come in amazing colours – I’ve seen lime green and black; red and black; a pink one; blue and black.

Designed for the modern, fast-paced city, Smart Cars can go 800 kilometres before you need to whiz into a fuel station. I haven’t sat in one but someone at work, who owns a Smart Car, told me that the visibility is amazing and the interior is quite spacious. These innovative zippy cars make perfect sense to me. I’m hoping to see one in NZ some time soon.

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