May 22, 2015

Follow the Rules

Italian-bus

Whenever a group of more than two people is traveling together, the potential for missteps increase exponentially. You all should know the ‘rules’ of where you’re going and follow them.  I went to Italy in 2000 in a group of 6 to see family we’d never met.  The sons of the family worked for Roman public transportation, so really, there was no excuse for what happened one day.

We were staying in the village of San Cesario, which makes Rome easily accessible via bus. We purchased a Multi-Pass at a local tobacconist (tickets are purchased for bus travel, unlike the coin-in-the-box American approach) as we had every other day that first week, and waited for the bus to arrive.  Two of our party were over 60, so when the bus doors opened, four of us zipped in the back door and found seats for the oldest of us.  The remaining two of us (myself included) entered the bus from the front door and, as we were firmly instructed by our Italian family, had our multi-passes stamped with that day’s date and time.

The four who entered through the back door just figured they’d do it on the way out of the bus.

Nope. Caribinieri boarded the bus and checked everyone’s passes.  With our combined Italian language skills, we explained about getting the oldest into seats and would stamp on the way out.  Nope. No quarter for ignorance.  The four who had not stamped their tickets received $50 fines for not being stamped. Although, they were not alone.  There were at least four other unstamped people on the bus…they were local.

When we retold to story to our Italian family, we were roundly scolded for not listening to direction. A mistake we did not duplicate on this trip.  The moral of the story?  Follow the rules!

Related Reading: 11 Things to Do in Beautiful Bolzano, Italy

Photo credit: tanvach