A day in Milano

I did not want to go by train because I cannot work in the train. The flight to Milano is short, the airport clean and clearly laid out. However I am not willing to pay EUR 90 for a taxi drive to the city, the train ticket Zurich-Milano costs less. So I take the train. It is difficult to buy a ticket because of the 4 ticket machines, two don’t work. The queues are accordingly long and I miss my connection.

Basically I just need to go one stop. But since Malpensa airport was built very far outside the city, this one stop takes 22 minutes. And on these 22 minutes we accumulate 16 minutes delay. Why? Hard to say. So I need a taxi but there is no taxi rank. It takes me 10 minutes walking in the direction of the city centre until I finally reach a taxi rank.

The day passes smoothly until I receive a text message shortly after five o’clock in the afternoon saying that my flight in the evening has been cancelled. Further information is to follow.

Only the train remains. I take a taxi and go to the train station. The taxi driver tells me that in the week before he had driven three stranded passengers to Zurich. For a special price of EUR 700. Despite the fact that he is good looking and funny and I would be faster at home with him than by train, it is in particular the price which helps to decide for the train.

I go to buy a ticket. The salesperson calculates on a calculator, gives me two pieces of paper and charges EUR 79. I look at the two scraps of paper and on one it says EUR 71 for the train ticket and on the other EUR 6 for the reservation. I ask him how he gets to the amount of EUR 79. He calculates again on his calculator and finally asks for EUR 77.

Quickly buying a book before the departure. I buy two. That totals to EUR 21.50. I give the salesperson a 50 Euro note and 2 Euro. She types in the cash register and gives me 0.50 back. I tell her that I would like to have also the EUR 30 back but she looks at me angrily and says no. I am astonished. There are only 10 minutes left until the departure of my train!! She says that she has to count all money in the cash box first and then starts to count. It takes forever because she really counts everything, including the cents. Then she disapprovingly looks at the cash box and returns EUR 30 to me.

Since the train is delayed, my almost delay does not matter.

I really like Italy and the Italians and will come again. But doing business there is arduous.

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