I'm sitting in a cafe at Milan-Linate airport, people watching. I agree that in some countries that could qualify as a misdemeanor, but here in Italy, it is positively go-with-the-flow.
Around me, the impeccably shod and effortlessly chic are going about their own. Small clusters of excitable locals are windmilling at each other with that entirely proprietary Italian form of sign language. It's quite possible that the topic of conversation is tonight's Milan Derby. This is a fixture that traditionally suggests more portent than it actually delivers, but then derbies often do.
The difference, of course, is that Internazionale and Milan share the San Siro stadium, a model of local accommodation that Chelsea and Tottenham might adopt if they both move into Wembley while their respective grounds are rebuilt.
Inter was, of course, José Mourinho's first club after he walked out of Chelsea on September 20, 2007 "by mutual consent", following an indifferent start to the season that had, two days before, seen the then-defending Premier League champions draw 1-1 with Rosenborg in the Champions League in front of a Stamford Bridge crowd of just 24,973.
It was their third successive game without a win, having previously been beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa in the domestic league and drawing 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers. Amid credible rumours of a breakdown in Mourinho's relationship with Roman Abramovich, his departure left Chelsea fifth in the table.
Today, following a similarly indifferent start to the season, Chelsea are fifth from bottom. Let's read that again: the reigning Premier League champions are, five games into the season, fifth from bottom. That's two places above the relegation zone. By tomorrow evening, they could be in the bottom three.
To add to the alarming circularity of Chelsea's situation today and that of eight years ago, I was five days into a holiday in Sicily, walking up Cefalù's La Rocca, when I received a text message saying that Mourinho had left Chelsea, a few weeks into his third season in charge. Today I'm on my way back to Sicily. Perhaps I might just switch my phone off completely for the next few days.
After yesterday's 3-1 defeat at Everton, Chelsea are in crisis. No two ways about it. And yet Mourinho's apparent serenity is a worrying reflection of the lack of any notable team improvement since the first game of the season. They have now lost three of their first five league games, with a win and a draw apiece. The worst start to a season since 1986. Put another way, by the comedian Ian Stone on Twitter: "So we have a left-wing Labour leader and Chelsea are shit. Ladies and gentlemen - welcome to the 70s."