‘By the way—I am an actor!’

The story of my week; how I managed to clear customs in Rome with Michael Madsen as his spouse and shared Gezi protest memories.

Arrived in Fumicino airport in Rome, the new terminal, majesticly large, but yet exactly three passport control officers. I am prepared for this everytime I come here, so quietly attended the very well organized que. Until when around 300 Russian speaking people swarmed around me, bypassed the entire que and lined up in a mass hysterical manner in front the by now invisible control points. I tried to hang in there for some ten minutes till I thought I was about to faint from lack of oxygen, smell of sweat and children bumping to my laptop bag. Then I decided to skip the whole thing and go back to find a chair alone and started stressing about how to make it the press meetings and rehearsal for my speech I need to deliver at the opening of Maker Faire tomorrow.

A very tall man came and sat close to me. We were the only two people who refused to stand up in the line or even take the chance, and as I was huffing and puffing and making frantic phone calls, he was doing the same. After a while we started chatting on solutions. We tried various options, appropriate and inappropriate which all proved to be not working. By this time stranger was looking all very familiar, he was wearing very peculiar snakeskin boots, many rings and certainly was fresh out of Los Angeles Melrose Avenue. I gathered he is some sort of actor that I have seen in my previous life but just could not gather who it was.
I was chatting with half of the Alitalia officers by then at the airport anyway to find a way out. We plotted on how we get assistance.. If he just could not walk… I said they wont buy it. He said ‘I am an actor’. He said just tell them you are my wife and I will say my knee popped out. I asked him his name, he said Michael Madsen. Then it all came to me… He was the man in my favourite ever movie Reservoir Dogs. He was the guy at Kill Bill. So there I went for some half hour, running around, convinced Alitalia that my husband who was coming from LA via London popped his knee out and could not walk and we needed assistance badly; and by the way he was a very famous American actor who came in for George Clooney wedding (not sure where that came from).

During the wait, he told me how much he loved Istanbul and had a tremendous two weeks filming there at Marti hotel right at the heart of Gezi protests; how he took so many pictures of the protestors and his observations; I told him I had thousands pictures myself and I also showed him MICA and he listened intently what it did; and he told me about the house he bought in north of Rome.

So we went, he carrying his bags on his lap at his wheelchair, with an Italian lady assisting us who as soon as we passed customs recognized him, so did the rest of the airport officers including the police. So he ended up giving hundreds of selfie’s in his wheelchair, and I kept on smiling until police would walk away.. then I went out, found my driver and finally had a big smile on my face to start my Rome trip so amazingly…

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