“Queue,” by Alexei Sundukov . a painting in the Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg.

This image reflects my day today.

First stop was the bank to pay the latest government imposed tax designed to save the economy from its current nosedive – ha! ha! (IMU – the imposta municipal unica,if you’re remotely interested!).

This afternoon was the parent-teacher day at my daughter’s school. This involved the usual organised chaos where you have to repeat the question “Chi è l’ultimo?” (Who’s last?) ad nauseam at the groups gathered  in bleak corridors outside spartan classrooms.

It’s a very Kafkaesque situation; a ticket numbering system would at least let you know if you could afford to nip out to the bar for a coffee, as it is you have to maintain your place at all costs.

Lastly, I had to get a train ticket for an upcoming work meeting in Bologna, the respectful distance from the customer in front of me being marked by a yellow line.

Queues in Italy are never as orderly as they are in England so a degree of cultural adjustment is needed – to the casual observer there doesn’t seem to be any system but all the locals know the rules and woe betide you if you don’t follow them. In others words, a good metaphor for everyday life in modern Italy.