## Wednesday, 27 June 2012

### Welcome home, sir

I have to say that the one thing I really envy to the Americans is the way they are greeted by homeland security when they go through passport control in any US airport. In Italy, they barely look you in the eye, even less so if you are an Italian person showing your passport (which Italians usually don't, since most of them use their ID $-$ or carta di identità $-$ when they travel abroad).

Nevertheless, I was given a real "welcome home, sir" by Trenitalia. When you buy a ticket, you automatically reserve a seat (which you pay for). You'd think that this guarantees you have a seat on the train, but because they actually let twice as many people in, this is not always the case.

I got on the train in Bologna only to find some people occupying the seat I have reserved. Here's my reaction. They insisted I checked their ticket to argue their case, which I did. They were indeed in the correct seat, but on the wrong train (they should have been on the next one). I suggested that this may have been the problem, but they weren't impressed by my logic $-$ silly me! So I decided to give up since it was too hot to start an argument (which surprises me: I must have really grown up!) and evidently I'm not used to the heat any more. I pretended that I was wrong and went to stand up in the corridor. Luckily, the train only takes 35 minutes to get to Florence, so that wasn't too bad.