And so today, during the celebration of Rome's 2,766th birthday, it finally happened: I fell prey to a thief.
The irony, of course, being that I am extra cautious as it is tourist season and the streets are filled with groups being herded along by a female tour guide carrying an unopened red umbrella. While no one is immune to pickpockets, I recognize that my tendency to speak English makes me seem like an easy mark, as recently demonstrated by a cab driver who heard me speaking on my phone and suddenly failed to make even one green light until I angrily told him the the fastest way to my house.
Just because I can't gracefully swing off my motorcycle, long black hair gleaming, wearing a skintight white turtleneck, skintight white pants and black boots and not have one speck of dirt on my white clothes doesn't mean you can pee on my leg and tell me it's raining. Although it does point to a case of hopeless insecurity and bafflement as to how Italian women can achieve such a feat.
But I digress. There were amazing parades and music and gladiators and senators of yore and pomp and circumstance and processions, all of which I needed to photograph. My camera bag was secured across my body, my wallet facing inward beneath its zippered pouch, within another zippered pouch and beneath a buckled cover. I was growing warm in the sun so before I steeled myself to push my way to the front of the crowd, I tied my sweater around my waist and looped my scarf around the strap of my camera bag three times, each time securing it with a knot, and finally adding a triple knot at the end for good measure. Not for safety: simply because my scarf was long and I didn't want it to become undone and get stepped on. So I got caught up in fighting the masses for a spot to take pictures and got into a groove, focusing on the images through my lens. And 664 pictures later, I came up for air and rejoined my family and lo and behold, I no longer had a scarf.
Had I not taken such care in twisting and tying knots in the scarf to avoid it falling to the ground, I would have assumed it was lying somewhere near my feet, undoubtedly disgusting and possibly beyond repair. But that wasn't the case. My scarf was nowhere to be found, even though I had been in the same spot, completely oblivious, for the past 45 minutes.
So someone stole my scarf. Not such a big deal compared to the things others have stolen in the crowds of Rome. I'm not even creeped out by the thought that someone was that close to me without my noticing for some period of time. I'm MAD. Because it was a new scarf and therefore my current favorite. And seriously, what a lame thing to steal. Good luck selling it for 2 euros. Of for all I know, someone took it because they liked it or because I Italian-ed my way to the front of the camera line and cut them off.
Luckily we went to a truly phenomenal gelato place--a real, for-real, no chains, no artificial flavors or colors gelato place: Fatamorgana. Because they make all their own gelato, the flavors were off the hook and had combos I have never before seen. I had a "safe" cone of chocolate orange, white chocolate and eggnog. The chocolate orange had real chunks of oranges in it. um. hello!!!
We all so enjoyed our gelato that we decided to have another round. This time I had a flavor that was apples (real chunks of apples!), cinnamon, and pecans and it tasted like apple pie. Even the person in my family who will eat only vanilla ice cream thought it was good.
So while I mourn the loss of the coolest scarf I owned, it will soon be way too hot for a scarf anyway, so there scarf stealer!
Hopefully a couple good pictures to post soon.