On my way to como, I decided to give the self service machines a try to avoid standing in line for tickets. When I finally figured out on how to use the machine, I put in 10euros for my trip when the machine suddenly crashed with no sign of my ticket or my money.
Now depriving an indian of his "hard earned money" is a crime and an embarrassing one when its done by a machine. So I set about trying to find the right person to complain to, which is hard enough with the language problem. Tried the police but they seemed clueless on the words coming out of my mouth, so I wandered around till I found a person attending another self service machine. I dragged him back to the offending machine and tried my best to explain the gross injustice that happened, but he shrugged his shoulders and said not his problem, try the ticket office.
As it is I had to book another ticket and as I didnt trust another machine, got it from the ticketing office, after which I tried to explain the problem to him. To my irritation I got the same response saying not his problem and I was supposed to go to another station somewhere else. Now I realize dealing with italian officials is pretty much like dealing with the indian burueacracy with almost no chance of getting anything done, but I wasn't done without a last stance.
I decided to miss my train to como and stood in the long line at customer service. Figured I probably need to connect to him at a more deeper level so I tried my best italian impression. Now imagine the following scenes with exaggerated shoulder shrugging and gesticulated hand movement. I also figured adding an a or o to every word would pass me off as the orphaned italian child that no one wanted, but italian nonetheless.
Whya thisa happeninga? Whya doa I needa to goto garibaldi (station) whena the machine at centrale (milan central) atea my money? Whya no one helpinga?
I dont know if the wonderful italian accent or his irritation, but he finally got it cleared from his supervisor and gave me a form to send to trenitalia for my money refund. Luckily I was allowed to board the next train to como as well so my gambit of skipping the train wasn't too monetarily painful.
Its been a week now since, I've had the form. I still dont understand what it expects from me (as it is in italian), but the hope still exists that one day before I leave, I will fill the form and miraculously get back my 10 euros. Why all this fight for 10 euros u ask? Well my friends, considering the devaluing dollar, soon I will be able to retire on my 10 euros - Welcome to the life of the rich and famous.