Last night was White Night in Florence or Notte Bianca. It’s basically a big outside festival that goes all night in a certain part of the city. There’s often music, a lot of drinking, food, street dancing, and a lot of fun. One of our best friends L went out for the party and out drunk as a skunk until the early morning. That’s when he got robbed. As it turns out, he was standing outside of BLOB when a few guys started chatting with him. Two of them grabbed his wallet and ran away, the other two, who were obviously part of the little crime circle, stayed and just hung out as though their friends didn’t just totally jack someone’s wallet and then run down the street in plain view. L was drunk but he realized what had happened and tried to chase the other two guys who were too far away. So, he returned back to the thieves two friends who had hung back. He approached them and told them that “they could have the money but he needed his documents.” They, apparently, thought that was fair enough so they called their friends who BROUGHT BACK THE WALLET. They told him to take them to an ATM and give them 200 euro. He told them, “No, if I HAD 200 euro in my bank I would have it here with me.” They shrugged and went back to trying to steal someone else’s wallet.
This is possibly one of the strangest criminal stories I’ve ever heard. Who does that? After hearing the story I told my husband that the whole thing sounded fake, that it was so crazy that nobody would believe me if I blogged about it. “That is fucking insane! HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN!?” I laughed. He shrugged and said, “It happened to me in Bologna.”
Apparently something similar happened to my husband in Bologna years ago. He was walking home with friends after drinking when some guys pretending to be police grabbed them. One of “policemen” took my husband’s watch and they ran off. My husband chased him. “Give me back my watch!” he yelled to the guy. It was a wedding gift from his sister. The guy stopped running, turned and said, “which one is yours?” and pulled out multiple watches. My husband grabbed the one that was his.
“That wouldn’t happen like that in the US?” My husband asked. “No way dude, if someone robbed you they are not going to give you your stuff back. If you chased them they’d probably just stab you in the face.”
This whole thing is fascinating to me. Apparently if you’re ever robbed just scream, “That was a gift from my mamma!” or “could you go break the change and bring me back a twenty for cab fair!” or “Before you take my shit will you order me a pizza? Keep the change!” They might be totally into it.
I kind of like the approach of, “Yeah, i’m totally stealing money from you, cause I need it for the secret bakery or crack, but I’m not a BAD PERSON, so yes, you can totally have back your wallet. How rude of me.”