Bella bambina

1 yr-glenda-B

This is a photo of me as a very young child at the Honolulu Zoo.

In November 1969, at age 23, I was on a night train from Zurich, Switzerland to Rome, Italy.  I shared a compartment with an Italian laborer, who reeked of cheap wine.  Together, we unfolded the two benches, made a large bed, and slept on top of it.  Then, as the train followed the swerving tracks, this laborer kept rolling towards my side, apparently asleep and drunk.  I complained to the ticket taker, who then yelled at the man in Italian.  But, it did not help one bit.  The guy kept rolling towards my side.

So, I left the compartment and stood in the aisle.  An Italian Army captain approached me and invited me into his compartment, because he pitied me.  We sat on opposite benches, conversing.  By then, I was exhausted.  He suggested that I lie down on my bench and get some rest.  No sooner had I dozed off, he was on top of me, squeezing my left breast with his right hand.

“Bella bambina, bella bambina,” he whispered.

I heaved and shoved him away.  “Leave me alone!”

At that point, the train stopped.  “Please, have breakfast with me in Bologne, and then I will put you on the next train to Rome.”

I noticed his gold wedding ring.  “Oh, baloney.  You are married.  I don’t want to join you for breakfast.  Knowing you, you will leave me stranded in Bologne.”

The whistle sounded, and when he realized that he was getting nowhere with me, he finally jumped off the train.

Bella bambina is Italian for “beautiful child.”

Well, I am not a bella bambina anymore, but at age 71, I still have a good memory!

9 Responses to “Bella bambina”

  1. Christine Says:

    At 23 we don’t see a lot of the danger until confronted with it, so glad you were ok.

  2. Christine Says:

    Cute baby pic!

  3. Beatrice Says:

    Glad you realized that cad and didnt go anywhere with him Gigi,but unfortunate that you had to spend any time with him and that other man as well.

  4. Tom Sightings Says:

    That young child looks sturdy and confident, with intelligent eyes. I predict she will grow up and have to fend off many an unwelcome advance, but go on to have a happy and successful life!

  5. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    Actually, that was quite a nice story, Bella Bambina! You were young, adventurous, and beautiful. And you had your morals. Such an interesting life.

  6. DeniseinVA Says:

    You were an adorable baby Gigi. That was quite a memory. I have been on trains in Europe but never at night time. I was also traveling with a group of friends. Never would I be brave enough to travel on my own.

  7. Olga Says:

    You have so many varied memories. You really were a beautiful baby, that picture is adorable!

  8. Linda Reeder Says:

    You certainly had a lot of adventures in your early life.

  9. Beatrice Says:

    I enjoyed reading yet another incident that happened in your past life, Gigi.

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