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You must know that I love heading out on a long journey, especially by train. So, because we have chosen to go to the CeBIT by train, we want to narrate you our adventures. Let's start.





Chapter 1: The other four in our compartment and the train conductor

The train trip that has led me and Vincenzo to Germany looked like a silly version of the “Four Rooms” movie, thanks to the unique travellers we have met. Let me introduce you these guys.

The retired railway worker: An around 70 years old man that worked in the Italian Railway Company for about 22 years, obtaining a monthly retirement of 1.500 Euros. He actually has some occasional work as driver, bringing used cars from Germany to Italy. Being an ex railway worker granted him discounts using public transportation, so he is paying the trip from Bologna to Dortmund just 10-15 euro, allowing him to pocket all of the fee (about 250-300 Euros) the saloon is paying for each car brought in Italy. Usually, he does this 2 or 3 times a week. What a nice work! He told us about his adventures with the German Police, fixed the italian way: talking shit to policemen.

The Arab blasphemer: a middle aged man from north Africa. He's in Italy since the '90, working everywhere and for everyone: he is a baker, a cook, a waiter, a cobbler, a home builder, a driver and w/e else. He's a great talker; indeed, he talks about everything: against the lazy immigrants, against the corrupt politicians, and everything he says is gonna end with an invective against the Mother of Christ. He comes from central Italy, where he learnt the Tuscan traditions entirely (tip: in Tuscany people are used to curse the Mother of Christ, while in Emilia - mainly in Bologna – the invective goes directly against God. Elsewhere in Italy, curses go both ways indifferently). By chance, he comes from the same region of the Retired Railway Worker, so they passed all of the time talking about dead people and sick or unlucky ones. The perfect themes for an enjoyable travel!

The Nigerian bitch: a black, busty and rather nice (if you like the kind) Nigerian woman, dressed like a streetwalker, with a lot meat that exits from the garments. She is always quiet, but has a little glitch: an annoying cold. She blows her nose so much frequently that the Arab blasphemer and the retired railway worker think that she could have some exotic sickness (We hope not …). The funny/sad thing about her is that she doesn't understand one Italian word, so the Arab blasphemer and the retired railway worker can complain about her freely. The Arab blasphemer about her has said: “I know these kind of prostitutes. I go to whores sometimes, and in my opinion she is a 10 Euros one”. Thanks for the tip!

The sleeping English girl: a young, blonde, busty and tired English girl, seated at my opposite side. She has slept all the travel (7 hours), with a sleep mask always on, curled up endorsed the corner. The only her signs of life are possible to be noted when a train conductor arrives: reluctantly she takes the tickets from the bag, pass these to the train conductor then, got these back, she retakes the craved sleep. A spectral presence, really.

The Austrian train conductor: during the travel three train conductors have to change, because the train pass through three states: Italy, Austria and Germany. The Austrian one seems to be a Wolfenstein character: a pallid and skinny man, with orange hair and blue eyes. Dressed like an SS, with black leather gloves, he proceeds unperturbed. The words are limited to the minimum. Needless to say, when he is present, the silence is absolute. Unforgettable.


Chapter 2: The four mädchen

As you have read in our previous report concerning the trip to Germany by train, that experience has proved to be very particular. I suppose a large part of you would now think the way back could not be worse than that. We were thinking the same, soon to discover we were just wrong (...and, man, so wrong!).

When we arrived at our wagon, from the beginning, the situation did not augur a promising future for the trip. The coach was a couchettes and sleeping carriage rearranged as a normal coach. A lot of passengers were confused and the train conductors have travailed to explain how to use the modular couchettes as benches, and why (shortage of materials). Then, me and Vincenzo reached our compartment first, and we talked about the our possible four travel companions. Italians? Germans? Martians? NVIDIA fan boys? We were shacking.

When four young and beautiful German girls, with everyone a big and heavy backpack, entered in the compartment, we breathed a great sigh of relief. They seemed to be the usual rational, impassive and quiet German girls, ready for a relaxing journey. What a mistake of evaluation …

When they entered in the compartment with their huge backpacks, me and Vincenzo had to exit to allow them to arrange their gigantic baggage. They seemed like four elephants in a studio apartment. Did that, they made themselves comfortable and they started to eat food of any kind. Trust me, it seemed a pic-nic (they were also barefoot!). One girl in particular, rather thin, ate like a wolf, and her backpack seemed to be the copycat of Mary Poppins bag, but just full of food home-cooked (rather oily, in my opinion). They didn't ask us if we wanted some of these food, but I think I would have responded: “I'm sorry, but I don't trust in your cooking ability. I'm still young to die”.

However, the first hour passed easy, chatting of this and that, until the German train conductor arrived. [Tragedy music here, please]

So, they asked to the train conductor to use the beds as beds, instead of benches, because it was a waste of material and the trip would have been more comfortable, in their opinion (they had to reach Rome: a trip of 11 hours). The German guy approved it, so we (the four girls, me and Vincenzo) agreed to arrange the couchettes when we should have gone to bed.

Unfortunately, when the moment arrived, the German train conductors must gave way to the Italian train conductors and then civil-train war began.

11.00 p.m. the Lead Italian train conductor commands to reinstate the compartment (Benches); the German girls refuse to move back. An extend discussion between me&Vincenzo and the four girls begins about the powers of the train conductors: who has more power? The German one or the Italian one? (LOL!)

11.10 p.m. the Second in Command Italian train conductor, a woman, tries to explain why the German girls have to move back: “If someone will fall down to the couchettes the FS - Ferrovie dello Stato (Main Italian rail company) will no refund the damage”. It's a warranty question. The German girls, undismayed, refuse again to move back.

11.30 p.m. the Lead Italian train conductor is here again, and he acts. He tries to disassemble the beds, but the four German girls seem to apply an altered version of “Occupy Wall Street” → “Occupy Couchettes”, desperately trying to evade the evacuation, arguing against Italy, FS and the whole world (except the motherland, the great Germany). At the end the Lead Italian train conductor wins, but the troops' morale is high. The four girls have fought with honor! The battle hymn is missing, but it is clear by their expression that they are satisfied. They are Germans, after all ...

Then, after the storm, the German girls decided to sleep … using three Couchettes out of six. In their opinion it was the best compromise solution: two of them would have should sleep alone, and the remaining two would have should sleep with the feet on the face of the other.

During the works of settlement, we were talking about their Rome travel in details. From what we understood, they were coming to Rome to meet some Italian guys known through the Internet. Me and Vincenzo's eyes were sparkling on the face of the girls, due to this revelation. Were they really going to Rome to know some stranger guys, without safeties, and were they sleeping at their house? Frankly speaking, if my daughter did something like this, I would have not problem to close her in his room for the rest of her life. I practice Karate since a long time, I'm a man and I'm a black belt, but I have to be honest: certain sites in Italy are like a battlefield, even in Rome, and I avoid these without problems. Prevention is better than a cure. We hope they were having fun in Italy.

After getting off the train, me and Vincenzo said: “We seemed to be the Germans, and they seemed to be the Italians … the world is upside down!”.


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Gian Maria Forni
Autore: Gian Maria Forni
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Esperto di mercati e CPU
Sebbene sia laureato in Lettere e Filosofia, indirizzo Storia Contemporanea, e scriva per quotidiani e riviste di tale settore, ha sempre avuto la passione per l'informatica ed ha collaborato quale moderatore in importanti forum del settore
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