The announcement was clear. The train from Milan that we had to catch was travelling with 55 min delay. Instead of 21:15, we would (maybe) leave by after 22:00. We were in Mantova. We had come from Ferrara and had been travelling for three days. We had walked a lot. Visited great cities. All we wanted was to get home. We had to kill time at an empty station where everything but the toilets was closed.
I started to think about the commuters to/from Milan who have to take this train everyday. Getting back home by 21:15 or 22:00 is really different, especially when you have to get on the train the following morning by 07:00. The kids are probably already sleeping when you get home and may be still asleep when you get up to get to the station in the morning. Then the frustration of the train being late every single day.
I walk to the toilet. A young woman with the cleaning cart is on the platform next to them and is chatting with a staff of the railways. There is no paper. I come out and ask her about paper. She says that the paper is finished. I see some paper on her cart and ask her if I can take it. She says she cannot give it to me as those are the last ones and the company that hires her has no money to buy more. She says that her salary has not been paid for for four months and adds that the railways have not been paying her company for the cleaning services they provide. The chap she is talking to nods as is he was to say: this is how things are in his country.
The speaker announces the arrival of the delayed train on track 4. We get there. The train slowly approaches the platform looking tired of being constantly late. The doors open after bip: bip, bip, bip. The commuters hurry off on their way to their homes knowing that tomorrow it will probably be the same.
At least one photo a day