Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Ugly - Scenario B

Scenario B
If you opt for public transportation, the metro subway provides quick and efficient locomotive around the city that also has a diverse selection of thieves and picks pockets of various ranges of expertise. Oh! and you better have exact change for your fare, or else someone will run to your rescue and break your 5 or 10 or whatever for a nominal charge of 1-2 Euros at your distress when you realize that breaking a five means getting 3 bucks back.
Your fare costs about 2 Euros. Why don't you just feed your bills to the machine, it's 2012! That's because the machines will always reject your bills, and they know that. Which is ok because you'll lose your wallet later to a pickpocket. Great... Now you’re broke and and without identification because you took the subway. So you decide to report that to the police. Only to realize that you’re not the only one who's had that happened to them today, because half the city is there queuing... in front of you.

Scenario C
Mr/Ms. Imaginary does not exist and there is no scenario C.

I would also like to clarify that scenario A and B are not mutually exclusive to each other, but in fact quite likely that Mr/Ms. Imaginary has had to experience both.There is simply no way of avoiding contact with the dishonest once in the city. Thus, making honesty and chivalry a virtue that is truly valued and appreciated in Rome. Rome is not only a city of arts and history; it is also an open university for the modern world, an urban world. It is a symposium of modern city living etiquette.

This is by no means a holistic representation of Italians in general. Like many major cities in the world, there are various levels of crime. I am strictly speaking about the petty crimes in Rome. However, the sense of danger in Rome, not of violent crimes, but of scams, are persistent to tourists. Keep your valuables close!

The Ugly - Scenario A

No surprises here, thieves and scammers rule the streets of Rome. To be fair they trouble only areas where tourists frequent. One does not shit where he/she sleeps, no? They are what taint the image of Rome, and the Italian people as a whole really. The locals despise them and don’t see them as one their own, which was previously mentioned and thus why they often seem more supportive to tourists because they understand what you’re going through. Here are two fictional scenarios of Mr/Ms. Imaginary:

Scenario A
As you arrive at (FCO) the da Vinci airport in Rome, as many would, and you first walk the streets of Rome, looking like a tourist with all with your bags and stuff, which is the biggest give away. Then you would be immediately greeted with solicitations of overpriced tours and phone plans that do not work. How do you it’s overpriced and the phone plans don’t work? Well because there's another guy who tried selling the same tour to you for half that price and the phone plans don’t have an advertised carrier. So you successfully hunted down a taxi to find that it is the taxi who has successfully hunted you down as you begin to suspect that the taxi has rigged meters or have a different interpretation of the metric system, the situation is likely both. By the time you arrive at your pre-negotiated location you discover there is an imaginary fee of the driver's like and that there is apparently a 10% tax on top. In the end, your trip costs 103 Euros.