Planet Bell


1. The time I was pick-pocketed in the Roman metro


I was packed into a crowded carriage on the Roman metro during rush hour, and as the train pulled into a stop, a young gypsy girl – maybe 16-years-old – pulled up her shirt, flashed her boobies at me and started shouting. For some reason, this did not register as odd to me. I stared at her, dumfounded and mesmerized. “Europe = awesome!” is all that I can remember thinking.


The girl then leapt from the train and disappeared into the crowd accompanied by another young girl as Romans shouted at her vociferously. The passengers were animated and agitated, speaking to me in Italian with flailing arms and excited voices, you know, the way Italians always talk to each other whether they are buying a loaf of bread or arguing about football (soccer).

I had no idea what was going…

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