There was a story circulating around Rome that there would be an earthquake on the 11th of May. So naturally, it pissed me off. Not because I was worried about the shoddy buildings all falling to ruins, and collapsing on top of me (I don't need an earthquake to make me feel that in Rome), but because I was embroiled in my own righteousness about how irresponsible it was for the media to be reporting these ideas, knowing that one can't predict a natural catastrophe.
There was a lot of media hype about the city being deserted etc etc, but I will tell you, it was pretty much business as usual...maybe an iota less of the usual traffic.
So, when May 11 passed with no earthquake in Rome, I got talking to some friends and I asked who it was that announced that there was going to be an earthquake in the first place. I wanted to vent and take my frustration out on whichever scientist or ministry office had made such a foolish statement. And then, it was revealed to me that in fact, it was a century old prediction, made by an old fogue (Raffaele Bendandi) who apparently had rightly predicted past catastrophes that eventually befell the country. So, I laughed it off, feeling like a fool, because I wasn't across all of the situation, and then I also felt quietly chuffed because I realised that not having a TV in this country is better than having one, as I wouldn't fall into the trap of believing what was said to me etc etc.
The following day, the consensus was that the prediction had in fact rung true. There had been an earthquake in Spain on May 11. It seemed that some of the people who had taken the prediction into their hearts had found some consolation that the fogue's prediction had indeed come true...a couple of hundred kilometres away, and, well, not exactly in Italy at all, but whoops, there you go.