It’s Slide Night at Back in a Bit. That means getting out your travel snaps and explaining the quirky stories behind them.

Melbourne writer Tristan is back to share another overseas adventure.

Shenzhen (click to enlarge)
Rome, Italy

Shot using: Sony Cybershot 7.2mp

Tristan writes: I love the composition of this shot because it depicts the two Romes: the homeless and the tourists. Our typical LA Sophomore ladies, Conner and Hunter, have just stepped off the plane from LA and they have hit Rome in search of good times with hot Italian men.

Unfortunately for Mr. HomelessItaliano2008 here, he don’t meet the selection criteria of these two Valley Girls.

The first thing that shocked me when I arrived in Rome was the extent to which the Italians — men included — dress up even in everyday life. They don’t just wear a shirt, they flick up the collar, they are very all out in their mostly successful attempts at being stylish as all Gucci.

However the second obvious thing I was struck with, was the extent of Rome’s homeless population. It is huge. Around every corner I found another homeless person or groups of vagrants. You simply don’t see this kind of thing in London or Sydney. I’ve never seen so many pick pockets.

I stood on the terrace of the garden above the Colosseum tube station entrance which faces the Colosseum and I took many pictures of marauding gangs of children, homeless and gypsy children who pick the pockets clean of all these loud mouth tourists coming out of the underground.

“Oh wow Betty, come ‘ere a minute darling, look its the Acropolis thing!” says Barry. “It’s called the Colosseum, dear” says Betty.

Mean time I’m photographing the begging Gypsy lady at their side. She passively confronts them with her monotonous slogan “speak English? hello, speak English, do you have a coin?”. She bounces her outstretched palm up and down as she rhythmically chants her slogan.

She is unobtrusive and she seems innocuous but when Betty and Barry have turned to focus on the “Acropolis Colosseum thing”, Gypsy has flung her pincers into Barry’s man-bag and whipped out a camera. God I love photographing these kinds of human interactions in the Eternal City as opposed to doing the hum drum tourist thing.

Have you got an amazing travel snap (jpeg format, s’il vous plait) and story you’d like to share on ‘Slide Night’? You don’t have to be a professional and it doesn’t have to be “exotic”. Just send it through to [email protected]