Snapshot No. 2 It’s Not That Hard to Do
So I kept accidentally exiting places, not realizing that I had, in fact, exited, until I was out and wandering around in the streets outside the attractions, seeing signs that said, “This way to the Roman Forum. This way to the Colosseum.” It’s really not that hard to do, especially when every building looks important and worth seeing and part of an attraction. The first time I did this, I had attached myself to a tour group in the Roman Forum, and I was happily following along, half-listening to the guide explain something or other about this very important stone representing the Romans winning at a significant battle. We had gone up a hill, and she was leading her tour group into what I thought was another part of the Roman Forum.
Would I need to re-scan my ticket? I thought to myself, tagging along with the group. Well, it doesn’t matter because I got through with the tour group – hurrah for tour groups! Well, you probably realize this by now, but yes, I had inadvertently exited the Roman Forum. But somehow, I still didn’t get this, and broke off from the tour group to go see what was on the other side (many important looking buildings and a huge white monument in the distance). It was only when I saw all the little fruit stalls selling bananas and water and “tickets to the Roman Forum” that I realized I had exited.
I retraced my steps back to the original point where the tour guide had led us all out, and gave my ticket to be scanned. Of course, it beeped, because one can only get into the Roman Forum and Colosseum one time on the ticket, and probably most people know when they are exiting the Forum, unlike me. “You’ve been here already?” said the guy at the gate, eyebrows raised under his sunglasses. “Well, yes, but I just exited by accident five minutes ago. I didn’t mean to leave,” I said, hurriedly. “You mean, you left by accident?” Could those eyebrows get any higher, I wondered. “That’s correct,” my sheepish response. “I promise I’ll stay inside once I’m inside. I won’t exit again by accident.” This, I realized afterwards, was a ridiculous response, because of course, I would have to exit eventually again, and what did he care if I stayed inside or not. But he was nice and let me back in, and now he is probably telling the people that he works with about the dumb tourist who exited by accident and tried to get back in.
Then, in Athens, I accidentally exited the Acropolis, which is very easy to do, in my defense, because it’s not like they label it or anything, and I just waltzed right out of this little green gate that was open (which the green fence designates the area of the Acropolis, how was I supposed to know that though). I had wanted to see the garden and the ruins below. And by the time that I realized I was no longer in the Acropolis, I had to go ALL THE WAY AROUND again, climb ALL THE STEPS, and present my ticket again to be scanned. The guard gave me a Didn’t-I-just-see-you look. Which I returned with a You-should-label-the-exit look and also the look of someone who had almost passed out from exhaustion on all the steps.