I was 18 and backpacking through Europe with one pair of shoes, a pocket full of dreams and starry-eyed wonder at the old cities, museums and monuments I was seeing on a meagre daily budget. After a night of pub crawling in Rome with backpackers from Australia and the UK, next on my list in the Italian city was the Colosseum.
What luck to bump into two men dressed as Roman soldiers just outside the ancient amphitheatre’s gates. Would I like a picture with them? Why yes. How convenient for a post on my Facebook wall.
We snapped away and as I turned off my camera, the stinger came: that will be €5 (about R101 at current exchange rates), thank you. Shock. Horror.
“If I pay you, I won’t be able to pay entry into the colosseum,” I pleaded.
They did not care. I refused to be swindled out of seeing a piece of Roman history and either deleted the picture or offered up my dinner money. The conclusion to their treachery eludes me but I was most unimpressed.
Original Story by www.timeslive.co.za