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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lost: money and innocence in Naples

Depending on who you ask, Naples is either a beautiful port city rich  in history and culture or a bit of an exhibitionist, lifting up her skirts for all to see what lies beneath. Like most things in life, both may be true.
Arriving in Naples we had mixed feelings. After all we were in Southern Italy, so although the city looked a bit like a shit-hole at first glance, we kept a positive outlook. We stopped for a late lunch of famous Naples pizza. It was fine. Just fine. Nothing to write home about. But we were offered the first of many free limoncellos to come during the week which lent a rosiness to the rest of the day.
The one pretty thing I was tempted to photo
Our waiter then explained to us how to get on the bus to do our walking tour of some interesting bits of the city. We climbed aboard the R2 in front of the hotel, narrowly escaping death by oncoming traffic several times in the process, and looked for a way to pay. The driver said we had to buy a ticket, but not on the bus. Somewhere else. He didn't know where. As we approached the next stop, still without having paid, we noticed two transit officials waiting to board. We quickly hopped off the bus to look for a ticket and avoid being arrested.
After a few false starts we obtained our tickets at a Tabachi and got on another bus. This one was so crowded we barely made it on, only succeeding thanks to a kind gentleman who made a space for Angie on the bus, and then made a space in her pocket for the Euros that she had placed there. Yup within moments of boarding the bus she was pick-pocketed.
It gets better.
At some point during the ride she managed to get a seat. The man behind me took the opportunity to position himself very close behind me, well shall we say enjoyably for him. Uncomfortably intimate for me. I stepped away, and he stepped back into me. There was no escaping him.  I finally turned around abruptly, looked him square in the eye, and was relieved to see him change his mind (and also his position). In fact he looked all shifty-eyed and immediately got off the bus. I should thank my friend Janice for teaching us all how to give the powerful "stink-eye". It worked.
Our walk about was less than thrilling, so we went back to our beautiful hotel in the not so beautiful city center. I decided to have a bath, since my Paris apartment only has a shower.
Newsflash: Kindles float in a bubble bath. They don't work after but they do float.
Oh well off to dinner in a highly recommended restaurant overlooking the water.
Food, service and wine all average.
Okay we only spent one day, but having been robbed and throbbed/ molested and nearly arrested within 10 minutes, we were eager to discover a kinder, gentler Italy. Time to move on to Sorrento. Note: the trip takes a huge upward swing in the next chapter.

6 comments:

  1. That stink-eye is useful! Naples is the armpit of Italy. But I do admire its confidence. It's as if it's saying, "This is a shit hole but it's MY shit hole."

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    1. Janice you may be right. There is a definite sense of pride. And shall we say prowess?

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  2. Not a very nice welcoming committee.
    Glad you were armed with the stink-eye though!

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    1. Stink-eye was definitely called for!

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  3. :)

    Hope you girls did not lose a whole lot of money in the pick-pocketing incident!

    No comments on the loss of innocence! :(

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    1. Nope not a lot of money. But so much innocence!

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