Wherever you are in the hills in my part of Italy you’re bound to come across a hole in the road. There will usually be one man hard at work digging, and another two at each end of the obstruction waving paddles to direct the traffic. All they have to do is turn them round to indicate stop or go. It’s not a very demanding job, but they are just a bit too casual. Our man with the bat will often nod and smile, acknowledging a foreign car, but forget to show us the right side of his paddle. Then he’ll wave it sternly at us, pointing at the red side if we happen to be heading into the path of on-coming traffic.

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