My family and I took a taxi today from the colosseum to our lodging near the Vatican. We checked the price of the ride with three taxis before commiting to a taxi. Cost of the ride was to be E24.
As we approached our destination I had a E20 and a E5 in my hand to give the driver. I expected a E1 coin in change, but noticed that the driver had a couple bills in one of his hands. I thought that odd, but didn't give it further attention.
The driver didn't pull up to the curb behind the line of taxis waiting for fares, but stopped about ten feet from the curb. I handed him the E20 and E5, at which point he cautioned me to keep the children safe from oncoming traffic. I was sitting in the front passenger seat and instinctively looked behind me at the children and the two adults with them. When I turned back around the taxi driver had two E5s in his hand and told me I didn't pay him enough. I immediately thought I had made a mistake and gave him another E20, and he gave me one of the E5s.
As he drove off quickly, I and the other two adults in the car realized what had happened. They had seen me give the driver the E20 and the E5, and were both caught off guard as I was by the deception. Our cab was No. 3144.
The lessons I learned today from this slight-of-hand theft are (1) to not allow myself to be distracted at the end of a taxi ride, and (2) to be deliberate and clear about how much money I'm handing to the driver as compensation.