So, I’m not sure if that’s the motto of Trenitalia, Italy’s national (and only) railway service, but I’m sure that’s what their aim is. But I got to thinking about it, and I came up with some other mottos that I thought were just as good. Like..”Making your life difficult…one train at a time” or “If there’s a way, can you help us find it?” or “We’ll get you there…sooner or later” or better, “if we have to” or “Your only choice in rail travel.” (Of course, the last one is more of a threat than anything). Maybe the best is, “Turning vacations into retirement,” because it can refer both to your contribution to the employees’ pensions as well as the length of your journey.
So, a note to travelers in Italy…the train schedule is set for an entire year and only really varies on the weekend. Trenitalia enacted the 2006 schedule on Monday. Good intentions, before the holiday season to allow commuters and everyone else to adjust to the changes.
Why do they make changes to schedules? My mind says…To meet demand, to better service customers. Maybe, in some countries, to turn a profit. Unfortunately, I don’t think the proverb “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” exists in Italy.
This week has been terrible. Luckily Pavia has about 50 trains a day to-from Milan so many times I was able to take a train that was already 20-30 minutes late but was leaving at about the time I needed.
I think my favorite episode was at 18:25, right before my 18.27 train was scheduled to depart. It was listed on the board and was flashing as they do right before the trains leave, yet it had no platform nor delay listed. It was a phantom train. I luckily caught a different train that was only 30 minutes late.
One reader of a local free paper listed a set of numbers that he will play in the lotto, numbers that corresponded to the delays of his daily train for that week. This morning when I arrived, there were delays of 1hr45 and 1hr15 for some trains, one of the delays being twice as long as the train ride itself.
The numbers give me a random segue (if you know the show, you remember the numbers) into my latest obsession, the TV show Lost. I didn’t really know much about it until recently, then I was sent the first season on DVD for Christmas, and I have been watching it whenever I can…most times on the train I don’t notice until we are on top of the station. I sneak in episodes when Sante’s in a lesson, or while cooking…I know it has to end soon, but then I’ll just start getting the new episodes from friends or buying them. A sickness!
Also, I have to say, not since Harrison Ford played Han Solo in Star Wars have we had such a good (looking!) charismatic bad boy as Josh Holloway playing “Sawyer.” And he was born in the same town as me!
I like the fact that there is always two stories happening simultaneously – the current situation on the island, and the background of the characters and what makes up their motivations.