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Report 1316: European Travel Back When - 1964

By Marian from New Jersey, Summer 1995

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Page 13 of 20: More Roman Adventures --- Saved by the Marines!

It's getting late, and time to leave the party. Gianni is getting on my nerves, but J and Tony are hitting it off. Now that I am not on my own, but with a traveling companion, I face a quandary. On my own, I never would have risked getting into a car with Gianni, much less going to that party. So that's the good part, I get to do things that I couldn't have.

However, Tony convinces me that I should accompany them to his parents' apartment, which he says is lovely, and of course without me, J will not go. Gianni promises to be on good behavior. So we drive back to Rome and the apartment which is huge and spectacular. J and Tony disappear, and I am still being really annoyed by Gianni. The way out of this situation comes to me in a flash: I excuse myself to go to the bathroom and take the opportunity to leave the apartment.

It's very late at night, well after midnight. Although I've only been in Rome for a day, I have noticed that the apartment is near the bus terminal, so I walk over there and find the bus to my hotel. What I have forgotten is that I removed my wallet and passport from my purse when we left for the party, so I have no money!

I convince a taxi driver to take me to my hotel. But another surprise awaits me: The hotel is locked for the night. I ring the bell, and ring the bell, but no answer. The taxi driver is becoming unhappier by the minute. Eventually, a car drives by and some guys, speaking English, make some remarks. Then one of them says: "She's American." They turn out to be US Marines stationed at the US Embassy, and offer to pay my taxi fare and take me back home with them; I can repay them later. I don't want to go from the frying pan to the fire, so to speak. But they point out to me that my hotel is actually in the middle of the red-light district (so THAT's what those cars are...), and I will not have a pleasant time of it standing there all night.

So the Marines pay the driver, and take me to their quarters. Wow! I have an American shower, an American breakfast (eggs! bacon! even orange juice!). As promised they take me back to my hotel in the morning, and I greet my friends. It's been quite a day and night.

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