While I was in college I studied for a semester in Italy, where I have family. I was on my way from Florence to Naples to visit them for a weekend

When you take the train in Italy, you have to get your ticket stamped in a machine before boarding the train. I was late, and running, and so I forgot to stamp my ticket. The train was full, and I ended up sharing a car with three older gentlemen. I could speak a little Italian, but of course they knew I was American. One of the gentlemen knew a little English, so we talked some. I told him I had forgotten to stamp my ticket. He told me that the train makes a long stop in Rome, so I could get off then and stamp my ticket there. He said he could tell the conductor, who doesn’t come through until after Rome, about my ticket.

When we got to Rome, the gentlemen noticed my walking stick and said they would get my ticket stamped, so that I could stay on the train. I was glad for the extra rest, so I gave them my ticket. As they walked away, I realized what I had done and hoped I wouldn’t be trying to explain to the conductor how my ticket was stolen. Thankfully, the three men came back with my stamped ticket and we enjoyed talking the rest of the journey. They did explain to the conductor, who gave me a glance and then went on to the next car.

When I told my relatives in Naples, they were aghast. How could I trust strangers? But we all laughed about it and they made sure I got to the station in plenty of time for my return trip.

Feature image used with Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License, by Jorge Royan.