The Italian Almanac

service station

Italian News - August 9

A Macedonian man who drove away from an Italian service station without his wife on Monday apparently only noticed she wasn't in the car when police phoned him six hours later. The man, his wife and their four-year-old daughter, who live in Germany, were returning from a holiday in Greece when they stopped at a service station near the northern Adriatic city of Pesaro. While the woman went to the bathroom, the man - with the little girl still in the car - went to buy petrol. Having filled the tank, he then simply drove off.

Finding herself abandoned without money, phone or ID, his wife turned to the petrol pump attendants for help. They called police, who quickly sent a car to bring the woman to the local police station. As one officer attempted to comfort the distraught woman, another tried to contact the husband via his cell phone. But the phone was switched off and remained so until six hours later, by which time its owner was 360 kilometres away in Milan.

The man justified his absent-mindedness by saying his wife normally sat on the back seat of the car with their daughter and so was not in his immediate field of vision. It is unclear how much credence the police attached to this explanation but, in any case, he agreed to drive back to Pesaro immediately to collect his spouse. Watched by police, he picked up his wife a few hours later and they set off together for Germany.