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Friday, October 05, 2007

Florence - Day 9

I'm off to Modena today - a one and a half hour trip. I haven't actually taken any pictures of Florence Santa Maria Station until now


It does a have a 20's-30's feel with the lettering.

The train I'm catching is an Intercity Plus - not my favourite type of train as it consists of 6 person compartments.

As I truddled onto the train I came upon a traffic jam in my compartment. An Italian women was already in the aisle trying to communicate with the 5 Americans and there 79 pieces of luggage currently in our compartment. I should mention that when you buy the ticket you are given a seat allocation that specifies carriage number and seat number. In this case I was in carriage 2 and seat 31.

They had figured out that they were in the wrong place but that was it and were currently in discussion about what they would do. The older gent deciding that just filling the aisle with their baggage would be a solution. By now all process into this carriage is at a halt and the Italians behind me are indeed getting very annoyed.

I decided to use my english speaking ability for good and manage to get a look at the old guy's ticket - the idiots. They weren't on the wrong train or the wrong carriage they were in the freaking wrong compartment. Their seats were 41-45, just one compartment over!

I somehow managed to convince them that they need only move to the next compartment, all the while they were copping an attitude and trying to blame the conductor! Idiots, the conductor directed them to the right carriage, he can't be blamed because they can't read numbers.

With this, peace was restored - I did remind one rather large mouthed member of the party that the seat numbers are on the ticket. "Oh" she said "but we were on these seats on another train." Yeah, so what?

I really do wonder do people really travel without any knowledge of what they are doing or how things run? How do they manage to get anywhere...blind luck?

The peace was briefly ruffed along the one by another dumb traveler, who couldn't read that she should be in carriage one and not two and wouldn't you know it, she tried to sit in the American's compartment. I could hear big mouth whining "but some women told us to come in here." Some women saved you from a lot of abuse, idiot. It was left to myself and a fellow compartment dweller to settle the situation and send the wayward traveler onto the right carriage.

My return journey was one of the more uncomfortable. From the queues at Modena station to purchase tickets, to not being able to purchase any in first class, I had no option but the travel second class. That wouldn't normally be a problem but at Bologna I had to change to a connecting Eurostar that was so overbooked, the aisles were packed - I just lucky that my booking included a seat allocation.

I arrived back in the apartment after 8pm - it's been a long, tiring day but one of the most enjoyable. I learnt a lot from Gusto Balsamico so it was well worth the effort.


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