Men make life interesting

tivoli-12-A

The fountains at a famous garden (Villa d’Este) in Tivoli, outside Rome, Italy.  I bought this postcard in 1969.  When I was in Tivoli, the fountains did not look like this, because it was winter and everything was dormant and ugly.

***

I was in Rome (December 1969), sipping a café latte outside a coffee shop, when a young man in his twenties stopped by my table and said in broken English, “Hi, I am law student from Ljubljana.  Please join me and my friends.  We go dance on boat.”

(Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia.  President Trump’s wife is from Slovenia.)

I stared at him.  He was cute with blond hair and blue eyes and of medium stature.  But, he looked like a poor student.  I told him, “No, thank you.”  He begged and pleaded, but I was steadfast.  He left and ten minutes later, he was back, begging me to join him and his friends on that damn boat.  Finally, he took “No” for an answer and left for good.

Another man stopped at my table.  He was an Italian, older than the law student from Ljubljana.  Short, balding, and homely.  But, his English was better.  He said, “Hi, why don’t you let me take you to lunch where all the Italians like to eat.  After we have lunch, I will show you around Rome.  I have a car and can show you a good time.”

This time, I said, “Okay.”

His small car careened down a winding street, and I clenched my jaw, praying we wouldn’t get into an accident.  He treated me to a simple meal, consisting of chicken and pasta and a short carafe of white wine, which he diluted with water, saying that Italians like to dilute wine.  The restaurant was small and average, nothing special.  It was filled with Italians who were on their lunch break.  He also took me to a hill with a splendid view of the city.

I had a good time.  The problem was he wanted romance.  Eh, I wasn’t in the mood for it.  I told him to drop me off at my hotel.  I said, “Ciao, thank you so much.”

The next evening, the phone in my room rang, and the receptionist told me the Italian was here to talk to me.  I replied, “Please tell him I am sick and cannot see him.”

The next morning, I checked out of the hotel.  I had already been in Rome for two weeks, so it was time to go.  I was 23 and ready for my next adventure.

I must say, men make life interesting.

7 Responses to “Men make life interesting”

  1. David Says:

    You have had a very interesting and unique life. You are truly blessed with all the events that you have experienced in your world travels.

  2. Christine Says:

    Interesting story, Gigi. I visited the Villa D’este with my daughter when we went with her school on a trip one year.

  3. Olga Says:

    Interesting indeed.

  4. honoluluaunty91 Says:

    Ah, to be young, beautiful, and exotically asian in foreign countries. Most people only fantasize about it. You have lived it.

  5. joared Says:

    Interesting the adventures we have, especially when we’re young. I probably might have been less trusting than you to get in a car with a stranger unless you knew your way around the city. But that was the Sixties and life was different then compared to now. Also, maybe Europe different, too.

  6. Tom Sightings Says:

    Hmmm, I was in Rome in 1969, seriously, summer after sophomore year in college. But … I’m neither Italian nor, um, Ljubljanian.

  7. DeniseinVA Says:

    Very interesting experiences Gigi. I have never been to Italy. It is a place I would love to visit.

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