by Melinda Gallo

Keeping my distance with tourists

I generally have good boundaries. I try not to help every person I see on the streets of Florence holding a map. I want to help them out, but I realize that unless they are crying or asking me, I just have to not look at them and walk by. It can be quite challenging at times since the number of tourists here in Florence has doubled in less than a month!

This afternoon, I saw four people standing on a busy street corner trying to flag down a taxi going in the opposite direction. They tried whistling and waving their hands at each one that they saw. Because they had luggage, I assumed that they might have to catch a plane or train, so maybe they needed some assistance.

I was walking toward them and I decided to stop in front of them and say something. "You need to go to a taxi station if you want a taxi. They don't pick people up off the street."

The guy looked at me and said, "Yes, we know." I wanted to ask why they were trying to flag down a taxi if they knew that it wasn't going to work, but knew it wasn't any of my business. Before I walked away, I smiled at him and said, "OK. I was just trying to help you out."

I heard one person in the group say that they had called a taxi, but it didn't make any sense to me either. One of the girls in the group thanked me, but I didn't turn back around. I figured I should've stuck to my standard rule: never help anyone unless they ask.

Share your comments for this blog post on the Living in Florence's Facebook page. Grazie!