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1 looks like a 7

When you mark your train tickets with a 1 or 7. The train worker will mark your ticket again. She told me that I used the ticket on the 1st and now need to mark again for the 7th. She will assume you you are trying to go free. When I explained what happened, she refused to believe me. A local overheard what happened (believed we must be scammers), he tried to make us go off the wrong stop. So we'd pay triple.

I always marked my ticket before boarding.

Posted by
2498 posts

I have no idea where you are from but in Europe they make a one and seven quite differently from the way we are taught to write them in the US. I think your ticket person may have just been trying to avoid the confusion that can ensue with these differences. Look them up.

Posted by
7 posts

I was born in Texas my whole life. I was in a travel abroad class through Switzerland, and Italy. A classmate witnessed this. There is some validation process at the station.

The teacher made us validate our tickets on the 1st. But I also bought a single ticket that day because it was cheaper to use my extra pass for a longer trip. When she saw that I validated on the 1st, she told me that I used the pass on the 1st not knowing I bought a seperate ticket to a nearby town that day.

Posted by
7 posts

The train attendant had a conversation with me and told me to my face that I was lying about buying a seperate ticket on the 1st. She told me that I validated the ticket on the 1st, so I used the pass on the first not realizing that I bought a seperate ticket that day because it was cheaper that using my pass.

Realize that I had to mark my ticket just before I got on the train. She told me that I didn't do that.

Posted by
2953 posts

Mona's reference above caught my eye . I have been writing seven in European style since my adolescence . Perhaps it's my proximity to New England ( four miles to the Connecticut line ) .

Posted by
7 posts

The train attendant told me that my 7 was marked on the 1st and that she put her 7 for the 7th. the train worker was very clear that she thought I was scamming the system. The local passenger was very clear that he thought I was scamming the system. He told us to get off the wrong stop.

I am sure students are doing this scam. But there should be benefit of the doubt. I also was singled out in breakfast to prove I was a customer of the hotel. Because I was a young and alone traveling after my class left Europe.

Posted by
5308 posts

Your advice to not mark the ticket until you get off the train could lead to yet another problem -- train conductor could assume you were not intending to mark it at all as a way of extending the validity of yourticket. We saw a number of passengers fined €50 for not validating train tickets in Italy.

Posted by
2498 posts

I think your teacher may have contributed to the problem then if s/he had you validate your pass on the 1st even though you didn’t use it for travel on that day. It’s not that the ticket agent refused to believe you, she saw that you hadn’t done it correctly and corrected it for the date you actually made your first trip.

Also regarding breakfast rooms. Please don’t worry too much about that. I’ve always been asked my name and checked off of a list or had a server come around to ask for my room number or key so they would know I was allowed to have their breakfast. This happens to me even when I eat there on multiple mornings so don’t let this bother you. I hope you had a great time with your student travel group otherwise, what a great opportunity to travel and learn in Europe.

Posted by
20624 posts

I am very confused. Your word phrasing would suggest a non-native speaker/writer. That doesn't square with being born in Texas. And not marking a ticket till you are off the train is an even bigger scam. None of this is making much sense.

Posted by
2462 posts

OP, I see no scam here, only ignorance on the part of both you and your teacher regarding the proper European writing of numbers, and how and when to properly validate your tickets. Lesson learned the hard way.

As for the hotel breakfast- you were being thin skinned. Validating that you are a guest if the hotel either on entering the breakfast room or at the table is normal.

Posted by
11681 posts

It is not clear to me what happened here, but this is what it looks like:

When you say you "marked [your] ticket" it sounds like you are talking about a flexible rail pass (not a ticket), where you fill in the date for each day you use the pass, and ride free that day. You say that the teacher told everyone to fill in the date before you traveled on the 1st, and presumably you did that. You then bought a separate ticket for that day's travel because it was cheaper than using up a day on the rail pass. That can be a smart choice, one that we have often made ourselves while traveling in Switzerland on a flexible pass.

However, once you fill in a date on the railpass it uses up that date and is irrevocable. Even if you had a separate ticket and used that for the trip you made that day, you cannot undo the date you filled in on the pass.

If this is what occurred, it is unfortunate for you, but the train conductor was correct that the date filled in on the pass used up a day, even if you had a separate ticket for that day.

Posted by
7 posts

I can't remember the terminology that the teacher used. It was in 2005.

the whole class had to do some validation process on the 1st that is seperate from marking the ticket. the validation process is something we did regardless if we chose to go on a round trip on the train that day. We had to show the station our ticket regardless if we were going to use the ticket that day. Our teacher did not want us holding up the class on next day of travel because everyone had to validate and board train at once. Some of us chose to validate and return to our hotels without traveling that day. Realize that I was one of the few that stayed in Europe after the class left. So I was planning to use extra days for traveling to Germany.

Posted by
16769 posts

You cannot "mark the ticket when you arrive" for any type of transport. You must have a valid/activated ticket or pass upon boarding a train. If you have a question, it's best ask a conductor or other rail staff standing outside the train.

The Eurail Pass Guide that comes with your purchase (if you were using a Eurail pass) demonstrates how to fill in the dates as clearly as possible. They don't say that you need a cross in the middle of a number 7, but it should be clearly distinguishable from a 1 so they don't think you used the earlier date - or that you're writing indistinctly now to better be able to write over the number another day (a scam that incurs higher penalties).

Most point-to-point tickets are not validated with a hand-written date. That's rare, but does occur on some regional Italian trains, for instance, if they're sold at a bar and printed on different ticket stock than the kind that fits into the date/time stamp machines in stations.

Posted by
7 posts

Mine 7 looked like a 1 to her.

We noticed that most of the time we were on the honor system to mark our tickets. Most of the time attendants did not check if we marked our tickets.

Posted by
3136 posts

I am confused about what you mean regarding marking a train ticket.

When I was 12, I lived in Germany and learned to cross my 7s. I still do.

I don’t think a one looks like a seven. RS described the European 1 looking like an upswing.

“Written Numbers

A European's handwritten numbers look different from ours. The number
1 has an upswing, and the number 4 often looks like a short lightning
bolt. If you don't cross your 7, it may be mistaken as a sloppy 1, and
you could miss your train. Don't use "#" for "number" — it's not
common in Europe.”

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/european-numbers

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ee/Handwriting_variations%2C_numeral_1.svg/200px-Handwriting_variations%2C_numeral_1.svg.png

Posted by
7 posts

When I used an american seven it looks like this "7". She thought my american seven "7" was a European number one

Posted by
16769 posts

Yes, it's a danger, and a good warning to other new travelers.

Posted by
633 posts

I'm invoking Guideline #8 and have removed the following from the OP's initial post on the basis that this advice is against the rules and will incur a fine if you are caught doing so:

"My advice is to not mark your ticket until you are off the train at your destination. Tell, the worker that you were going to mark the ticket when you arrive."

I'm also locking this thread to prevent an argument that I've cleaned up and I believe the point here has been made.

Thanks everyone!