Monday, July 21, 2008

When in Rome

Happened to see the photo below in a news story on the Web. Apparently, in Naples, Italy, a couple of teenage girls (ages 13 and 15) got swept up by the waves while playing in the water and drowned. For a couple of hours, their bodies were laid on the beach and covered with towels after a failed rescue attempt.

See the people around the bodies? Yeah, they're laying out on the beach as usual, many just strolling casually by within a few feet of the bodies. Why? Apparently, the girls were "Gypsies."

The wife and I were in Naples a couple of months ago; and while we did think the city was indeed seedy, we didn't think the Italians could be so indifferent to an immigrant. But it was on the way to the Rome airport in a tour bus where the tour director pointed out a Gypsy girl on the street, flagging down cars on the street to wash their windows.

The tour director mentioned that the Italians were having problems with these "undocumented immigrants," and many were blaming them for the increase in petty street crime and worsening the bad economy by deterring tourism. I guess she was saying that these immigrants were responsible for all the bad folks ripping off your cameras and pocketbooks.

Yeah, I'd say that the petty crime is my main reason for not wanting to go back to Italy very often. But a couple of bodies rotting on the beach while people walk indifferently by? Highly doubt it now.

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