Milan, Italy. April 4 (about).

Well hell, lost again. This time, it was in Milano’s underground, metro, tube, subway, whatever you call it. We were just trying to get back to the main train station to get tix for Nice, France. As Rick would have said if “Casablanca” had had a metro, “Of all the subways in all the cities in all the world, I had to come into this one . . .”

The Milanese are no doubt a great people, but they have flunked signage. An official will say to take Linea 1 to the train station, but the only visible signs say Linea 2 and 3. SD deduced that those signs mean your Line 1 connects somewhere down there with 2 and 3. Oh.

The official had pointed to the passageway on the right. OK, but how were we supposed to know that? We still weren’t convinced, but plowed on. At the underground stop that bore a name we didn’t recognize, we asked an intelligent-looked matron, “Stazione Centrale?” and pointed to the right. She smiled Si. Flood of relief.

We enjoyed the rest of the ride, but which exit should we take to get OUT of the tunnel and back to sunshine and freedom? There were more choices. We tried one uschita (exit) of several possibilities, but only came to a passageway back down! We wanted out! We asked the stazione question of a tall, handsome man with luggage; he laughed, pointed at his chest and made shrugging gestures, like “Im lost too!” But he pointed up to the left uschita, shrugged “maybe this one?” and waved for us to join him. We did, and it worked. Twice he looked back to see if the older couple was OK, and we were. In fact, we were delighted. At the top of a ramp we saw the welcome light of day. He looked back again and waved goodbye. I waved my cane in gratitude.

So what the Milanese lack in signage logic, they make up for with politesse. All was well once again. It usually is, thanks to considerate strangers.

SD was right: “It’s like they say about Alzheimer’s — you keep meeting new people. . .”