Einstein to [his wife] Maric - March 13 or 20, 1899
The journey was very pleasant, despite the fact unfortunately that my companions in the compartment were all males. There were a couple of frisky Italian boys who sang and laughed and joked with each other, sounding half like little girls, half like puppies. Things went well in Chiasso. "This fellow doesn't have anything of interest," the sly customs officer must have thought to himself. I spent the rest of the journey in deep conversation with a young man about Italian affairs, while a young German salesman on his first trip to Italy took great pains to show off the few Italian expressions he had acquired for just such an occasion with as much elegance and non-chalance as possible. It was as if someone with a trumpet that only payed two notes wanted to perform in an orchestra and was continually waiting--continuing longing for the next chance to blow his horn.