SATURDAY 25 MAY – ROME, ITALY. Ingrid and I ride from Naples to Rome on the Frecciarosa, which hurtles on steel rails, skirting hills and mountains, through fertile, undulating countryside at 300 kph. It is a journey of such sublimity you never want it to end.
As the pretty pastel villages flash by and the chardonnay in my glass creeps lower, my mind perversely meanders in the direction of Australia, where successive generations of politicians, bureaucrats and entrepreneur-imposters have failed to create decent ground transport whether on rail or road.
My long held and unpatriotic view is that, by and large, Australians are lousy managers and that, if we didn’t have a reasonably good education system and a lot of minerals in the ground, we’d be finding life a real struggle.