That Time Jo Got Scammed in Italy So You Won't Have To

Why did I decide to pack three massive bags for a month-long post-grad backpacking trip with my girls across Europe? I now had to struggle through the Rome Termini station at 6AM after having slept an impressive four hours the night before to make our 6:30 train for the next adventure on our world tour, Florence. Despite having back pain, sweating profusely, and experiencing extreme hunger from not having eaten anything more than a tiny cornetto, we laughed while waddling to platform 2bis. I swear there couldn’t have been a further away platform.
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We make it onto the train and drop our bags off taking over an entire train car like the traveling bada$$es we thought we were. All four of us let our hair down and get so excited about finally resting our poor travel-damaged-bodies for a few hours. The conductor interrupted me just as I was about to start catching some Zs, “Do-a-you have-a your-a teeckets?” All four of us flashed him the rectangular tickets that we had purchased at the station a few days before. He gives us a dirty-stank look and proceeds to say “you-a deedn’t validaaate your-a teecket.” I step in and say, “we purchased the 20 euro ticket, here it is. Don’t you validate that I bought the ticket by collecting it and moving along?” He shoots back the horrifying, “no-a, you-a must punch de teeckets on de machine-a outside-a of de plataform. 40 euro fine for each of you-a now.” My heart sank because we were in a foreign country now arguing with a nasty Italian man who would not let four charming girls get away without paying this fine when I barely had 100 euros to my name. So just like that, I had to accept the 60 euros left in my travel fund, and mosey on as a fresh victim of a tourist trap. 
 
When we got to Florence, we caused such a scene to trying to get our money back that they called the cops on us and we were kicked out of the train station. Boss.

florence-tourist
These are the moments that Damon and I are going back to Europe this Summer to capture; not only to help others avoid tourist trap fines, but to help show travelers to laugh off these crazy mishaps that happen while conquering the world.
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Thank you! Merci! Danke! Obrigado! Gracias! Shukran!
Jo

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