* Just as a note, this post would have gone up sooner, but Blogger inexplicably deleted the entire thing so I had to rewrite the post. What you have now is my best memory of the text I had written earlier, and I’m disappointed to say that my first draft was probably better than what you’re about to read.

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Ok, so maybe I was the American jerk on a few occasions while I was overseas.

On my third day in Rome I spent the afternoon visiting a few sights that I had missed in the previous two days. Some of the places I visited included Capitol Hill, the Pantheon, and the supremely disappointing Circus Maximus. One of the last places I visited that day was Trevi Fountain. The fountain is an extremely popular tourist spot and normally has a large crowd around it, even at night. Below are a pair of pictures of the fountain that I took while I was in Rome.

Trevi Fountain, with only a small part of the crowd in view.

 

Trevi Fountain at night.

From the photos I think you can see why Trevi Fountain is a popular spot for tourists and couples. Sadly, the crowds around the fountain also attract local thieves, and pickpocketing is common. If you visit, keep your valuables close.

Tourist crowds also attract people who are selling products or services to said tourists. After getting a few photos of the fountain, I worked my way through the crowd down to the rim of the fountain, and was able to grab a seat when one of the persons sitting there got up and left. Directly on my left was a couple who were trying to take a photo of themselves. Moving through the crowd was a camera guy who was offering to take peoples’ photos (and then of course sell them the photo). When he approached the couple on my left and offered to take their photo, I immediately turned to them and said “Or, I could do same thing for free.” I then proceeded to take several photos of the couple with their own camera, all the while the camera guy was watching and saying things like “uh-huh” and “very nice.” After I took the photos I gave the couple their camera back, they left and both the camera guy and I moved on.

The whole thing was over in less than 30 seconds. Later that day I emailed a friend of mine about the incident. He replied back that the only way I could possibly have redeemed that moment of generosity was if I (after having taken their photo) had run off and stolen the couple’s camera.

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