I live for it.....well, honestly that , art, and ice cream (right now it's the Ben and Jerry's Blueberry frozen yogurt that has caught my obsession)
I left on a 6 week trip, when I was 19yrs old. What could be better? My friend Sandy worked and worked to save the money, sold her classic Porsche, and off we went. God, the stories I could tell you. I'll keep it at one right now.....
I was arrested for counterfeit money. Really.
We had enough, adesso basta of Italy, having traveled there for weeks and subject to the 2 blondes in Italy deluge......we were over it. The constant cat calls, groping of my d'oro hair, I was needing an alternative pronto. We got on a directo train in the port of Brindisi coming from Greece, and high tailed it North to find a way out.
The train system is amazing in Europe, and I always loved sitting back and reading sleeping, etc. Thank you Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac for making that a special time for me. I curled up to read and fell asleep, then I was jostled by a ticket taker.
I had a Eurail pass on a leather strip around my neck, what more did he want?
"I want one nother one" He said slapping his hand on a ticket. You are directo miss d'oro.
After a heated discussion I found that we had gotten on an upgraded train, and our pass did not cover the entire upgrade, so he was asking for more money in a very stern way.
Getting on the train at the heal of the Italy, I knew we were going to go right thru the country and did not cash a lot of money on the Greek ship coming over to Brindisi. I searched my bag desperately, and asked Sandy if she had some. I was now getting kind of upset, because mr. ticket man was staring at me, tapping the ticket talking to anyone and everyone in rather fast and angry Italian. I could only understand a few words, but I got the point, American, stupid, teenagers, ugh. I finally found a bill and handed it to him.
He gave a somewhat quizzical look at the bill, turned it over inspecting both sides, and I of course piped up and said "It's fine, I just printed in this morning"! then laughed a stupid dumb, teenager laugh. He left. I went back to reading and sleeping. It was hours and hours, and then again I was awakened to the ticket man, glaring over me.....this time with a very angry scowl on his face
"I want one nother one.......No good......NO good" he said slapping at the bill I had given him. Oh shit, I was in trouble now....I explained that I did not have one "nother" one to give to him, and I would when we got to Milan.....he went away.
Getting close to Milan now, I'm relieved, the train stops and on the train I see 2 Italian policemen coming right towards me...OMG, I am freaking in my seat!
They each grab one of my arms and escort me off the train with Sandy right behind me.
They don't speak English.
Long story short.....I ended up being interrogated, by a small desk light and a very large Sergeant.
I waved Sandy out, in hopes she would get some English speaking help, and she went tearing out the front door of the police dept. 5-6 cops sprinting after her in a rather keystone cop atmosphere......
It all turned out alright. Remember the Greek ship, well that's where I cashed some travelers checks in, and the Milano cops finally explained they were after a group of college students that were laundering money from a Greek purser sending counterfit lire into Italy.....
Isn't life just grand???
Bella fortuna, ciao.....