Before I go on bombarding this blog post with crazy amount of photos with no captions, here’s something I’ll like to share to with you all. Our near-pickpocket experiences.
I’d read enough tips and other travellers’ experiences on how to be safe and trust me, we actually became really really paranoid and skeptical and it worked!
1. First of all, and most important of all, NEVER EVER PUT YOUR WALLET IN YOUR POCKET!
Go get money belt or neck pouch. Yes I know, they are so uncle and uncool but hey, which one you prefer? Be an easy target or at least try to be safe?
And please ah, put them in the right places! We had our pouches tucked underneath our clothes. It’s somewhat a hassle and can be a little embarrassing but let’s try make pickpockets life a little hard shall we? It’s really useless if the pouch goes over your clothes, back-facing or side-facing like a fanny-pack because they are really really good I tell you. Once I heard from a friend that all her cash in the wallet was gone and it was not until when she was paying that she found it out. The pickpocket is so good that they can take your wallet out from your bag, take out the cash and then put it back in without you realizing it all.
When Bobby and I were walking towards the Vatican museum from the St. Peter’s Basilica, an old woman came begging for money and kept holding on to Bobby with one hand. Bobby tried to avoid her and dodged her but she just kept moving forward with that begging hand. And Bobby being Bobby, a very safe and paranoid person, put his hands to his pockets and guess what, under the old woman’s thick fleece shawl blanket, Bobby touched her hand when he put his hand into his pocket! Busted! But very keng lor, she just pretended like nothing happened and slowly walked away…. True story.
Really lor, not that we don’t have 同情心 or 愛心 (empathy or compassion), but we really didn’t want to take the risk…
2. BE VERY VERY VERY ALERT, especially when in a crowd and you get shoved.
Bobby (ya it’s him again.. don’t know why he always kana. Maybe he seems like an easy target :’D ) got nearly pickpocket again in the metro by two teenage boys (same thing, they bumped into him and he felt someone touching his pocket again). But again, heng lah, he never put anything in his pockets and his pouch was safe under layers and layers of
fats… I mean clothes.
3. LEAVE YOUR VALUABLES IN THE HOTEL ROOM AND DO NOT CARRY RIDICULOUS AMOUNTS OF CASH
We worked out our daily budget and only brought that amount out. It is a good way not to overspend and also if tai-kak-lai-shi really got pickpocket also the damage not too bad mah.
Okay lah, that’s it. Picture time~
Day 2 in Rome.
Quick photo before joining the queue to get in.
People were just queuing up to touch the statue’s foot and family members and friends took a quick photo of them doing so and the staff standing next to the statue shooing people away if they took more than 10 seconds (or less) to pose for a picture.
Okay, just googled about it and here’s what I found.
According to Catholic tradition, Peter was the recognised head of the Christian church in Rome, and therefore its first bishop.
Close to the pillar with the statue of Longinus is an ancient bronze statue of St Peter. One of the feet is of silver, and you can clearly see that it has been touched and kissed by pilgrims for many centuries.
You can touch his feet too, there is usually the queue at thi statue, but it is move on fast.
It was said us, when you touching the feet of statue of St.Peter, you forgive all sins. ;)
Told Bobby this and he said, “Okay… my quota for doing evil things (to you) increased liao lor. Nyek nyek nyek nyek”
St. Longinus - Made from four blocks of marble, Bernini’s St. Longinus exhibits Bernini’s famed sense of theatricality in the extension of the arms, occupying a large portion of the niche, and the complex folds of the drapery, easily visible at a distance. Longinus holds the spear with which he pierced the side of Jesus on the Cross. The outstretched arms were a first in monumental sculpture, and were a source of controversy when later critics began to denigrate Bernini’s accomplishments.
St. Helena - St. Helena of Constantinople, sculpted by Andrea Bolgi (a Bernini pupil). Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine who traveled to the Holy Land and by tradition, discovered the True Cross and the nails of the Crucifixion, which she placed in Constantine’s helmet and the bridle of his horse.
Okay, done with St. Peter’s Basilica. Next, to the Vatican museum!
My first time seeing people using crane to decorate a Christmas tree!
Hello Vatican museum!
The Vatican Museums, in Viale Vaticano in Rome, inside the Vatican City, are among the greatest museums in the world, since they display works from the immense collection built up by the Roman Catholic Church throughout the centuries, including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.
Laocoön and His Sons
1. I read about this statue before.
2. I’m not quite sure about the pronunciation but I seem to call it “Lao-Kun”, sounds like a Chinese uncle nickname 老坤， 很有亲切感！
3. I’m really really terrified of snakes! And this statue is about a father (Laocoön) and his two sons attacked by sea serpents. The pain, the suffering, the struggle.. I don’t know, this statue really haunt me man.
Image source from Wikimedia.
Okay, moving on…
I think this is at Hall of Animals of Pio Clementino Museum
At the Round Hall
Yup.. definitely going to hell. Me.
Curi curi take picture in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo's The Last Judgement.
There’s a No Photo, No Video rule in the chapel but it’s not strictly enforced. We saw stupider （We were stupid tourists, but these people were worse!) tourists who were just in front of the guards and snapped pictures with their camera flash on man. At least I make sure my flash was off and I only took one picture….
Next location, Spanish Steps!
Okay, there’s a story for the roses I was holding. Another lesson for you all to learn again.
I introduce you…
THE ROSE SCAM!
A random Indian/Blangedashi with bunch of roses in his hand came over and handed me those roses. I DIDN’T WANT IT but he refused to take it back. I kept saying I don’t want I don’t want but he didn’t even layan me. Instead, he turned to Bobby and demanded him to tip him because “it was a beautiful day, you have a beautiful girl with you. I make her happy, you tip me” wtf.
You can read more about it here. http://planetbell.me/2014/02/24/the-rose-scam/
Actually a lot people kana and not very expensive compare to the wish bracelet scam. I think Bobby paid him couple of euros. Okay lah, buy me flower in a foreign place romantic also what. I think most couple tourists will kana this one. A friend kana the wish bracelet scam and paid 50 euros!
Bobby nearly kana that also while we walking down the stairs. A man came up and wanted to hold on to Bobby’s wrist and luckily Bobby responded quickly and flipped his arm away. But that con man didn’t give up and continued bugged him while we walked super fast in the crowd. Then seeing him like that, I yelled really loudly in public “WE DON’T WANT ANYTHING! LEAVE US ALONE!” then ran off quickly. It worked. He stopped following us.
Actually.. it’s not even a “bracelet”, it’s just a string nia.
Forgive us for being real skeptical when it comes to people who tried to “help” us. There’s just too many scams going on and I realized tourists will only look for another tourists for help when it comes to direction because we feel safer that way. Sad but true. I will only ask tourists to help us take photo because “I help you, you help me”, and no need to “tip”. So usually when we need someone to take photo for both of us, I went..
“Hello. I can help you take a group photo but after that can you help me too?”
Ok end of story.
Slowly walking to Trevi Fountain.
I love this place so much especially after watching “Triumph in the skies (part 1)” 11 years ago…
Everyone was just throwing coins but before you do it, make sure you know the “rules” first ya. Right hand backwards over left shoulder.
1. One coin – returns to Rome
2. Second coin – leads to new romance
3. Third coin – leads to marriage.
I’m married. I don’t want a new romance… so I threw just one. But then again, not quite sure if I wanna return to Rome lor. It’s really exhausting to be alert all the time and the only time I felt relax was when I’m back in the hotel! Nevermind la, angmoh pantang I not so superstitious.
Next. Walk to Pantheon, which was just about 8 to 10 minutes.
Don’t quite remember what we saw inside already but I remember Bobby said something really inappropriate and I was like… “Eh, there’s altar here and people praying and you go and say such hamsap stuff… damn no respect lah you..”
We both looked at each other and slowly walked out because we’re full of inappropriate yellow jokes wtf.
Okay, that’s about all for Rome because the next day we were just wandering around walk here walk there and didn’t even take any picture.
Bobby found his favorite food in Rome, Italian persimmons, called cachi. (ka-kee)
The regular persimmons that you can find in Brunei are fuyu persimmons, flat bottom and smaller in size, firm and crunchy. He loves this hachiya persimmons. Super soft when ripe, bigger, juicier and mushy.