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An Italian railway adventure

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It is 34 degrees Celsius when my sister Lisa and I board the train in Bologna, and it is even hotter as we come to a sudden stop in the middle of the Italian countryside. “What’s the problem?” asks my sister nonchalantly; she’s not particularly worried. Nor is the middle-aged man with whom we share the train car; he was unaffected by the lurching halt and didn’t miss a beat as he chatted into his cell phone. He’s wearing a wrinkled grey suit and red sneakers — an odd combination for such a hot day. I look out the window ...

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