Sunday, June 3, 2012

So the trip is off to a rough start.

I have often said that typically there are no victims – only volunteers, meaning that frequently we become victims only because we allow ourselves to be victimized or we present ourselves as victims. (There are certainly many exceptions to this, of course, but quite often – this is the case.)

Friday night at dinner while the waiter was trying to talk me into dessert, someone reached over the small wall that separated the outside tables from the motorcycles parked on the street and took my backpack which was in the chair next to me.  It had my camera, passport, and wallet with my credit/bank cards, driver’s license and 70 euro.  Apparently the waiter was in on it because it would have been impossible for him to have not noticed someone reaching that far over the wall, and I was the only person eating outside that evening.  After living in Manhattan for such a long time, I considered myself streetwise to the city’s petty thieves and pickpockets but I was arrogant and that made me vulnerable in Rome. I have learned a lesson.  However, rather than complain about what has happened, I accept that I should have been more careful and I choose to be grateful that I still have my cell phone, my computer and most of my money.  Everything in that backpack can be replaced – it’s “just things” as my father used to say.

However, I will need to stay in Rome an extra day to pick up a new Amex card on Monday morning and meet with someone at the U.S. Embassy about my passport.  I stopped by the Embassy and spoke with a U.S. Marine on the speaker box outside the gates to report the loss of my passport, but she said it would be better if I could come back on Monday when they are open to meet with someone in person about a replacement. 

So staying another day in Rome is not the end of the world but I am anxious to get to the dig site.  The hotel has been very kind and helpful, even giving me a special rate for staying an extra day.  I notified the professor in charge of the excavation and she will try to make arrangements for someone to pick me up on Monday afternoon.  Hopefully, my next post will be more cheerful.

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