The time I was accosted by gladiators

A picture doesn’t always tell the truth. I may look like I’m having a grand time in the first photo, but in reality I was being held hostage outside of the Rome Colosseum. I made the grave error of making eye contact with these hustlers, and smiling at them. Before I knew what was happening, the larger one pulled me into a tight grip and insisted that one of my companions take a photo. Then he made it clear he wasn’t letting me go until I paid him for the privilege. I fumbled through my purse, gave him a few euros, and let out a sigh of relief when he finally let me go. It was one of the most bizarre and creepy experiences I’ve ever had, to be captive in a public place, no one around me the wiser. Be very careful if you go to Rome, and don’t believe everything you see in a picture.

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Never smile at a man who makes a living trying to kill people.


The Rome Colosseum, in all its gory – oops, I mean glory.

If I could turn back time…

“Sometimes I wish I could go back in life. Not to change things, just to feel a couple things twice.” ~Drake

One of the places I’d love to go back and experience is this graffiti house in a suburb of London. Artists from all over the world came together to create this unique work of art. My students and I and our guides were the last people to see it, aside from the construction crew that demolished it the next day. Just as we were leaving, the fence they were building around the property in preparation for the demolition was completed. I still remember the lonely sound of the tall gate closing behind us. We all felt so blessed to have been the last visitors.

P.S. Thank you to Cher for the title of this post.