How To Stop A Train

by Lena


Things you will need :

* 1 train

* 1 cop

* 50% confidence behind your own words

*  20% art of persuasion

* 20% of acting ability

* 10% of immodesty

* 0% of plan (b) if (a) fails…

Oh, Venice… the beautiful and romantic city of Love…

It was a really busy time in Venice due to some kind of art festival… everything was booked and I was not about to pay 700$ for 1 night… so I stayed in Vicenza, about 20 minutes by fast train. It rained the whole time in Venice.. and for only 1 day it cleared up.. that’s exactly when I took the train from Vicenza to spend the whole day getting lost in Venice.

no map, no plans, no bucket list.

Venice really is incredible. I tried to escape the crowds and walk further and further away from the main spots. The alley would lead me to another and then to a full stop.. water. Got splashed by the motorboats several times. Refused to get into one of those “tourist gondolas” … really, that’s just absolutely not my thing.. I’d rather get in a police motorboat and be a part of a chase for some thief, who just stole from American tourists.

On one of my detours into nowhere, I found myself standing on a bridge and watching passing gondolas. Was thinking of the time when Casanova jumped from hundreds of balcony’s to these waters, in a playful attempt to escape, yet another furious husband…


not a single person who walked by this door while I stood there with my camera, stopped to see what this place was… guess it wasn’t in the lonely planet guide..

“I definitely wouldn’t mind having Casanova on my balcony” – thought to myself. And was about to continue my walk, however a heavy breath near my shoulder stopped me.

“Hello..” – he said. “I was watching you, you are very beautiful, I want to draw you” … I turn and see a tall man in his forties. “I’m an artist, live right here, there’s my balcony…” he continued.

“Nice to meet you. Do you say this to every gal who stops on this bridge?” – I said laughing.

The idea of becoming a muse to an artist from Venice was fine by me.. However, my passion for photography was overriding that idea. Thanked him and said that maybe he can draw me, after my blue hour shots by the pier. I was certain I’d be able to find this bridge again. (what a naive thought)

So I’m making my way to the pier and bump into some procession, naturally. Interesting events usually walk towards me… while I just breathe

The whole square was surrounded by secret service type of lads in black suits.. and as I’m walking by and making an eye contact with one of them, he winks at me..

oh, those Italians…

Before leaving Vicenza, I checked the train schedule and saw that last train was at 12 am something. “Great! I still have plenty of time, I’ll take my shots and if I have time left will head to the artist and become a muse for a bit, then hop on the last train to Vicenza.”

When I finished romancing my “blue hour” Venice, headed back to the square for some Nutella gelato – my ultimate Italian love affair… if I spend another month in Italy, I will have to buy myself a whole new wardrobe. And if you happen to have Nutella in your house, when I’m visiting… HIDE it. up. very high…

I’m sitting by the pier looking at the moon and enjoying my orgasmic gelato, I took another glance at my phone… and choked…

Oh, I completely forgot to tell you, that I already had a booked ticket from Vicenza to Como next day in early afternoon. My bags were in a hotel in Vicenza. Back to my phone – after I saw one simple word on my screen, I just said “no, no, no , no noooo!” I realized what it means in Italy. Quickly finished my gelato and hit the streets of Venice to find a way back to the train station… It’s dark.. no map. no plans.. no clue of when the last train happens to leave the station..

“It’s okay, stay calm.. you can do this… you traveled through Uganda by public transport, this is a piece of cake!.. focus, where is that bridge?.. damn it, they all look the same! the Artist? I can always crash on his couch, but he’ll want some “after painting action” .. no way! damn it, I need to get to that train station asap!”

Even if I got on the train in the morning, I wouldn’t have made my Como train.

It was 9 something pm. I’m running like a mad woman to the station in the dark, trying to follow the, barely there, “stazione” signs, through this crazy maze. Finally, after about 20 minutes, managed to find my way through countless streets, bridges and alleys.. I’m running up the stairs to train station.. Several cops standing there, engaged in a conversation… Breathless, I ask them when is the last train… they tell me it’s leaving as we’re speaking…

I turn on my charms and look into one of the cop’s eyes… “Sir, if I don’t make that train, you will have to explain to your wife, why I have to spend a night at your place” … They laugh.

“It’s not funny sir, If I don’t make that train, I will have to spend a night on the street, and if something happens to me, it will be your fault. I heard Italian policemen are the best in the world, I hope they weren’t lying.” I say the following with as much tenderness in my eyes as anyone can in this kind of situation…

He melted. Grabs my hand and says “we have to run, fast!”

As we’re approaching the train that’s a second away from departure, he yells to the locomotive engineer to stop the train. A conductor who already finished collecting money for the tickets steps out towards us.

I hugged the cop and gave my “eurail pass” to conductor, saying the following; “I’m in first class” ..

seriously, reading those words now, make me laugh out loud .. wish I took a picture of his face, after I had the audacity to utter the above sentence.

But this is what I’m guessing, ran through his mind; “What a crazy woman, first she wants us to stop the train, then it turns out she didn’t buy a ticket at a train station like other normal people and now demands first class? did she have too much vino?”

Don’t think he has ever seen a pass like that in his life ~ Once we got on board and train departed, he studied my pass for a long time. “what first class lady? this is not a fast train, those leave in the daytime today.. this one will take you an hour to Vicenza.. and you will have to pay 5 euros cash” I laughed and didn’t care even if it took me 4 hours and the ticket was 4 times the price.


While sitting inside an almost empty train, I remembered a lovely lady I met in Florence, Natasha. Beautiful Russian girl Natasha, has been living near Venice for a long time.One particular story came to surface… She told me about the time when her friend came to her rescue the night she “almost” got trapped in Venice… because it was one of those days, when last train is really early…

You know, that slow, sweet and lazy Italian day…




The woman behind the train …