Subject: Memorable train trips
Hello Ziners,

This didn't happen to me ... but it's a train story that makes me giggle every time I think about it.

My non Italian-speaking friend Barb was getting ready to get off a train as it approached Rome (en route to Naples). A Japanese women joined Barb and spoke to her in Italian, Barb responded in English ... they both realized that that verbal communication wasn't possible and so gestures and body language took over. The lady pointed to a huge red, hard-sided suitcase next to Barb (it had been there when Barb approached the train door vestibule), pointed to herself and then to Barb and put on a 'I need help' facial expression. Barb understood immediately that the lady would need help lifting the huge red suitcase from the train to the platform. Sooo the train pulled in to the station. Barb and the lady between them got the huge, red suitcase from the train to the platform whereupon the lady smiled and took off. Barb stood bewildered for a minute before realizing that the lady had thought the suitcase belonged to Barb ... while Barb of course, thought it belonged to the lady. Now here was Barb with a huge, red, unliftable suitcase and the rightful owner was on the train that was about to depart. Barb got the attention of a policeman and managed with gestures to convey the message that she needed to get the huge, red suitcase on to the train. Gentleman that he was ... he assisted her and the huge, red suitcase returned to the train car's vestibule. Barb smiled with great gratitude as she walked away ... leaving a chivalrous man looking most bewildered. The owners would never know the little adventure their huge, red suitcase had experienced.

Lesley Toronto, Canada