Everyone, seriously EVERYONE always tells you to watch your possessions while traveling and it is VERY good advice. Trust me, I should know.
My group was in Rome. Kinda close to the Colosseum and the Forum. We took lunch and were allowed to go wherever. The group I hung out with from within the larger group went to one place. I had placed my order, got my food and was sitting down. One of the guys I was with is absurdly tall so he ate a lot. He had two trays. I set my bag on top of my friend’s food. It had my phone (blackberry on loan from my father), a point and shoot camera, my wallet with all my money and credit cards and my passport. I assumed if it were moved my friend would notice. Boy was I wrong!!!
I lost everything. Most depressingly all the photos I had taken. That night some of the girls bought me a “frada” purse (it totally looks real though) and everyone bought me a disposable camera. So I had 40 of them (40 24 shot cameras). My parents were able to wire money to the company to give to me. They also canceled the cards and the phone was tracked to Germany the next day but shut off. I think my mom was more pissed about the 6 am phone call than anything else. While I was majorly upset about the photos, all the trip leaders were more concerned with was the fact I was now passport-less. Again, a valid concern. I went to the police station in Rome with one of my chaperones and made a police report, for what it’s worth…
The next day we left for Florence. The US had an embassy in Florence so my ass was kinda saved. The first full day we were there, I went and got the WORST passport photo ever taken. Literally terrible. I was tired. It was like 8 am after partying the night before and me being the genius I am, I was wearing a shirt from the Russian Club at school. I don’t know where the picture is, but there is a picture somewhere in the ether of my standing under the American flag at the US embassy in a shirt that’s all in Russian….
If I ever find it. I’ll post it.