New Normal Random Thoughts #7

I’m back in London!

The new normal of travel appears to include a lot of forms:

  • There was the form to travel in Italy, which was easily filled while checking-in on the Alitalia app (except that the app prevents pasting stuff, which makes everything cumbersome)
  • There was the form to fill to leave Italy, which was requested when boarding the plane in Rome and literally nobody knew about. So every passenger had to leave the line, find a pen, and fill up a badly photocopied form on paper
  • And then there was the form to enter the UK on the site, which was advertised at the airports in Rome and Heathrow, with designated areas to stop and fill it before getting to passport control, with PA announcements saying that you would not be allowed to enter the country without… but then nobody actually checked if I had it. Maybe it was just one of those behavioral science experiments…

I spent a day in Rome, going to an actual business meeting. In person. In an office. Everybody around the table was wearing masks, but nobody even notices anymore.

The eternal city was as beautiful as usual, social distancing was mostly observed wherever I went, except for a pretty crowded piazza in Trastervere full of youngsters being very close, exchanging fluids and mostly not wearing any protection. Gotta admit that I felt slightly uncomfortable crossing the square.

London still feels half empty.

I wonder how long this can continue. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of empty public transport and having more room in general, but all this infrastructure is not build to work at half capacity, at some point governments will stop subsidising it and either prices will go significantly up or some systems will collapse.

I also spent a day in our office with a couple of colleagues. It felt good to be able to communicate without the constraints of zoom. I might do it again sometime.

It’s a little like when I can speak Italian after a long period speaking English. It’s not that I cannot express myself in English, but there’s definitely less brain post-processing power necessary when I can use my own language.

This is it. Be kind, stay safe, bring a pen in case you might need to fill a form.