Monday, December 6, 2010

A Uniform Isn't Always What You Think

It’s taken me two days to write this posting. I was on the fence whether or not to make this public because I am embarrassed for the man in my story and who he represents. But I honestly believe this story should be told even though the truth is ugly.

My story starts on a Saturday morning train ride with two of my roommates. There I was excited for a day trip when I saw a police officer sit down next to us on the train. The entire train cart was empty and plenty of seats to have sat in, but he decides to sit next to us.

 I got a little nervous because I thought maybe I forgot to validate my ticket or did something wrong. I politely said buon giorno—my first mistake.  Little did I know at that moment this police officer didn’t have professional intentions. I guess by initiating the “buon giorno” he felt compelled to spark up a conversation. I will admit I was impressed with myself that I was able to converse; although a little rusty. I got my points across.

 He began to ask a lot of questions: Where I was studying, how old I was, if I was an American, how long I was staying in Florence. I figured maybe he was trying to see if I was legit and had proper documents. I hadn’t a clue why he asked all these questions. In between his 20 questions he’d occasionally ask if I thought Florence was beautiful and what other places I’ve been to. Then all a sudden he asked for my number. UMMMMMMMM can you say blind-sided!?!?!?

 I said I forgot my number, but then he asked to see my phone, and being stupid I gave it to him. I was scared for a number of reasons. I’m on a train with a police officer that had a gun. I’m in a country that is foreign and the last thing I want is conflict with the police. Back home when a police officer asks something from you, you comply with the demand.

 He said he wanted my roommate’s phone. He took out his notebook and jotted down our numbers then said thank you. Then he asked if he wrote us would we respond. I lied and said yes—mistake number two. The next stop he got off and said goodbye then he gave me a kiss on both cheeks and smiled. Never in a million years would a cop in uniform hit on a female so bluntly.

 It is now Monday and the creep has called me seven times. Not to mention 30 minutes after he sent a text message saying he thought we were beautiful. I have not picked up the phone, hoping he would stop… it hasn’t. We know it’s him because he’ll call me and then 30 seconds later call my roommate. Those Italian men sure are persistent and can’t take a hint.

 I’m now paying for my mistake of letting my guard down. This situation has made me realize that the authority isn’t really authority. Some are the typical Italian guys just dressed in a uniform. I used to think they were professional, now I am tainted by the situation and I view them no better than the guy on my block cat calling as I walk to school every day.

I think he figured out I am ignoring his number, I am sure it’s a game for him. He’s become smart and now calls with a blocked number. The first time this happened he called in the middle of my Italian class and I thought it was my mother because when she calls it’s also a blocked number. I almost picked up because I thought it might have been an emergency. But I’m glad I didn’t. Immediately after my phone call, her phone went off as well. That’s when we put two and two together and we got four.

So that’s how I started my trip to Montepulciano. I’ll always have stories to tell you, never a dull moment when traveling I’ve discovered. 

2 comments:

  1. All I can say is, No THANK YOU!!

    Alece-

    I'm sorry to hear that a creeper keeps calling you and your friend! I must also say, I'm relieved it's nothing more serious than that! You are a very strong and brave girl, able to get through any challenge.

    Anxious to see more holiday photos from you. I have some of my own that I will email you :)

    Much love and best wishes,
    Bre

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  2. When unexpected hurts and mistakes occur, you keep building beautiful memories and continue to live a full and meaningful life. Life offers us billions of opportunities for making mistakes. If we don't learn from the first time around, we always get another chance (or 2 chances or 10 or 20 etc.) to repeat that same old mistake. I am in awe of you for already figuring this out. Hugs, Norn

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