After a month in Italy, my impressions written here at the airport departure concourse. The Italian people, although depressed by the economy and the lack of jobs for young people, are as friendly to foreigners as most Europeans - except for those Italians who regularly connect with foreigners through their work: they go out of their way to be sure I know they wish I was not here. From the extreme of the Venice "police" scam to the less offensive but ubiquitous sort of event this morning: we bought a foldable luggage carrier for our two duffle bags. I carried it on in Atlanta, Chicago, London and Zurich without a problem. In Florence, the Italian airline ticket agent had me carry it to security to confirm it was OK. The security officer said that it was fine but she wanted to confirm with her supervisor (that makes 3 Italians and 2 Americans wasting time on an absurd issue). Then the 20-something supervisor said it was fine IF I was using it to bring a bag onboard but - if not - I would have to remove the tied down strap (a bungee cord). After 10 minutes this issue was cleared up.