An experienced pendolare’s* thoughts
The daily necessity of taking the train in order to go to work is a constant challenge … you have to drive like crazy so as to find a parking place near the station, change your shoes (never wear heels while driving) and walk up to the beginning of the platform to get on the first wagon.
The first wagon is like the highest step of the podium; you step on it and you have the feeling that everyone in applauding or looking at you with envy because you are the best, the strongest, the fastest!
Sitting in the first wagon means being the first to go out when the train arrives at the Central Station of Milan and being at least 2 whole minutes ahead of the hopeless amateur passenger of the last wagon who did not know how much it needs to walk until the exit.
Experienced Passenger’s (or E.P Experienced Passenger = Maria) obsession is to sit carefully on the seat without touching it with his bare feet, legs or back, that is why the train seats are always disgusting. Even if he feels sleepy, the head must never touch the back seat!
E.P’s main fear is who will sit next to him, if they’re smelly, if they’re big (occupy one and a half seat) and of course if they’re secret readers – passenger type who usually reads secretly his fellow passenger’s newspaper. If you “fall into” the drunken one or crazy fellow passenger, there is no escape! It does bother you, but you aren’t able to get up and leave the throne, the so called first wagon, first seat.
The return is another adventure! It’s like a bet! Here, the most important wagon is the last one; closer to the exit of the platform where you’ll get off. Of course, your daily stress is to find the only air-conditioned carriage and not to die from the heat as the hopeless amateur passenger who made again the wrong choice and entered the first tropic heated wagon available.
Once you sit down with a smile because you found the right wagon and won again, you put your earphones and you hit the road…But, you did not calculate well, there is a tall guy who sat in front of you and now you don’t know where to put your feet! Damn!
1st DEMAND: more space between the seats, please!
* Pendolare in Italian is the passenger /outlier