As I spend more and more time in my country after so many years, the superstitious mindset of its inhabitants becomes more and more evident.

For example, Alitalia planes don’t have any seat row number 13, nor 17. The reason is that they are both believed to be unlucky numbers by a certain amount of people.

You can see this rather medieval aspect of life almost every day. Cars are filled with strange objects that are supposed to bring luck to the driver and occupants. Football players engage in funny gestures when entering the field. Newborn babies aren’t dressed in red as it allegedly brings bad luck. Handshakes are never crossed when four people are being introduced. And the inevitable black cat that crosses the street causes one too many U-turns.

It’s no surprise, though, that several people reportedly fled Rome today, as an earthquake had been predicted with dubious methods by a bloke who was half astrologist half magician several years ago. It really happened!

To me, all this superstition is a mere symptom of lack of education on basic laws of nature. But perhaps my engineer’s mindset is playing too strong a role here.

Anyway, enough writing for today – I’ve got to go and throw some salt over my left shoulder.

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