Godfather! But he did open one eye at us and mumbled at us in a very guarded way with in a strange mixture of Italian and English. We happily sat back and enjoyed the scenery. After about 20 minutes, looking at a map on the carriage wall we decided we were going to get off after 10 stops, only to be corrected by this man, who said, 6 stops!! He then asked us if we were Americans. I was unsure how to answer this, but replied, English, and the answer seemed to be the right one, as he then warmed to us a little! But then dear Journalies the ticket inspector then arrived, his name was Jobsworth. After handing him our tickets, he pointed to the wall and we realised he wanted 40 euros each from us!! The tickets had cost just 7euros. Our Sicilian friend then made us understand we hadn’t validated the tickets, a real sin it seemed and another strange Italian custom!! Our Sicilian ‘friend’ then remonstrated calmly at first with the ticket collector, to little avail – then he had another try obviously with a few dire threats added with appropriate hand gestures which made the ticket inspector go a pale shade of white and disappear! Only to return very shakily and pointing again at the wall. While Harvey pointed out that we hadn’t seen a point to validate the tickets, and that on the back of the ticket it stated that he the ticket inspector could do it! He disappeared faster this as our new ‘friend’ made some very obscene gestures along with some quiet guttural noises. He eventually hesitatingly returned and stood a little further away from the Sicilian. I expected to see damp patches down his front. He hesitated and held up five shaky fingers which we interpreted as 5 euros which we paid and Italian and Sicilian honour seemed to prevail. Signor Jobsworth then wrote an essay on each ticket!!
Published on Aug 26, 2013