by Melinda Gallo

Where's my bike?

After having a coffee with one of my girlfriends this morning, I got home and called Alessandro. I often stand at my finestra (window) when I'm talking on the phone so that I can look out at the piazza and stare at the Arno. I love seeing who is walking by and what's going on outside. I usually glance over to where I park my bicicletta (bicycle) in front of the Camera di Commercio just to see if someone has put trash in my cestino (basket). Today, however, when I looked out, I noticed that my bicicletta was missing.

I stared at the pole where I had parked it last, and nothing was attached to it. I had even put two lucchetti (locks) on my bicicletta to ensure that it wouldn't be removed. I opened the window to search my piazza, but didn't see it anywhere. My first thought was that the police came by and took it away since it wasn't parked completely legally. It wasn't bothering anyone, but the police came by once last year and put notes on a bunch of biciclette around my piazza, and then took away a few of them a week later.

Of course, what I think was more likely was that someone stole it. I had been thinking about loaning my bicicletta to a friend a little over a month ago because I don't use it that often. I love walking around the centro (downtown area) and taking my bicicletta short distances doesn't make much sense. I had also been thinking about a better place to park for the winter months. But now all of those concerns are no longer on my mind.

The girlfriend I saw this morning had her bicicletta stolen a while back, and she just saw it the other day near her apartment. I thought it was amazing that she spotted her bicicletta again, but it had a few distinct traits. Mine does not, so I know I wouldn't be able to recognize it if I saw it.

When I told my suocera (mother-in-law), she told me to call the police to see if they came by to pick up any biciclette in my area. The only problem with doing that is that if they did, they'd make me pay a multa (fine) and my bicicletta wasn't worth that much anyway.

I am surprised that I'm not that upset about my bicicletta disappearing, but maybe someone else needed it more than I did. I was fortunate to have my bicicletta for almost two years and two months: it served me well. When spring comes back around I'll think about whether I want to buy a new one or rent one from Piazza Santa Croce when I need it.

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