Definitely I didn't stop thinking of Great Garbo yet since yesterday. One of the proofs that I'm getting really older is the huge quantity of memories I have of the past years of my life, which often come to surface because a casual concatenation of thoughts. Several (or some?) years ago I went to Sweden with my mother, without any particular reason. I knew a Swedish gentleman living near Stockholm ( the way I had got in touch with him is not fundamental ) and he kindly offered to come to our hotel to take my mother and I for a tour. He owned and old collection Rolls Royce, which he used to rent occasionally for wedding or to drive some important personality around and he was so kind to surprise us arriving with that impressive white Rolls. I felt a bit uncomfortable, but my mother was absolutely delighted. It was, I remember, a gorgeous day. One of the precious sunny days of autumn on Scandinavian countries.
Inside the Rolls there were little Persian carpets at the place of usual small rubber carpets which are under the feet of passengers in normal cars. He told us that only few weeks earlier he had taken around for a tour the Queen Mother and one of her lady friends. My mother became instantly a queen as well. She felt totally at ease in the role.
Actually, when we arrived it came out that the mansion had been rented for a celebration, I have not any idea about what it could be, maybe an official reception. The doors were all open and there were people carrying big boxes and a van which seemed to be for the catering service.
Our arrival on a white Rolls Royce was not unnoticed, but, as it often happened, people were impressed by those apparent signs of social status. I tried to pretend to be a shy secretary to justify my casual outfit, while my naturally smart mother was perfect in her presumed role.
I don't know exactly what our Swedish friend told them (obviously they were all speaking Swedish with each other) but then he come to us telling that we can get inside to look all around. I felt a little paralysed, and I felt like an intruder peeping through a half-open window and I refused. I said I would have walked in the garden and I would have waited for them by the car. But my cheeky mother was enthusiastic and she got in to the house with our friend. By the way he could speak Swedish and English, while my mother only French and Italian, but mysteriously they managed to communicate.
After a long time, when I already thought they had been arrested by security guards or something like that, they appeared again and my mother was happy and started telling me she had been everywhere and the furniture was magnificent, and she had been in Greta Garbo's bedroom as well and there was nobody there, because all those people were arranging things at the ground floor. Then with a whimsical light in her eyes ( I think my mother was already over 70 then) she confessed that she felt the need to go to toilet when she was there and she noticed a door in Greta Garbo's bedroom, she pushed it and she found a bathroom. She giggled like a little girls and enthusiastically told me: "I peed into Garbo's flush toilet!".
Sic transit gloria mundi