Today's starter: dirty laundry.
Why yes, it is laundry day. Why do you ask?
They boarded the train at the first station we came to after the Swiss-Italian border. They moved down the aisle, their dogs leading the way on taut leashes with noses darting left and right. I eyed them uneasily and hoped for the best.
The policeman stopped and eyed me over, asking a question in Italian. I apologized for not understanding and asked if he speaks English. Politely, I hoped.
"Where are you from?"
"Canada." God, I love being from Canada. They always go easy on Canadians.
"Do you have any cigarettes?" he demanded, his dog dancing around his boots.
"No, I don't smoke."
"Open your bag please."
I opened up the daypack at my feet and emptied it of its contents, one by one. No cigarettes. Good thing I don't smoke. I had no idea you weren't allowed to bring smokes over the border.
"Is that your bag as well?" he asked, pointing at my big backpack in the overhead storage. Oh no.
"Yes it is."
"No cigarettes in there either?"
"No... would you like me to show you?" Please, please say no.
He contemplated me for a moment then stared up at Big Blue. I did my best impression of a saint. After several tense moments he shook his head no and went on to harass another passenger.
I sighed deeply in relief. Nobody, and I mean nobody, on that train wanted me to air out that dirty laundry.
Note: yeah, an entirely true story. I hadn't done laundry in weeks. I was mortified at the thought this man was about to go digging through that stinking nastiness.