Saturday, November 13, 2010

Napoli/ Pompei

I caught my train to Napoli at the last minute, and by last minute, i mean three minutes before it left. I feel bad now because I was in a hurry and kind of rude to the English woman who asked me for the time while I was trying to get the ticket paid for before the ticket machine made it unavailable. However, she had just whacked me and almost knocked ,e over with her oversized backpack so she kind of deserved it. The poor Italain woman on the other side of me didn't deserve to be confused but got nothing but confusion when she also asked me for the time and I told her twice in English before just showing her my watch then suddenly realizing why she was so confused, I quickly apologized. Anywho, ran to my bin and jumped on the train just in time. I found a good seat in a quiet car until we got to a major stop where my car mates all left me and I was joined by a reunited family that xas busy deciding what they would do and who would cook for the next few days. Oh well, I practiced my listening skills.

When I arrived to Napoli train station I had to purchse my ticket to Pompei but I didn't understand why the ticket seller told me it wouldn't leave for two hours; it was supposed to be just a 3O minute train ride, I thought. So I had to do something I hate to do; I had to ask the person in the special "Tourist Information" booth. Ugh, I shudder at the thought of being labeled a "tourist." I feel that for people who live in the cities of tourist attractions that word brings to mind only obnoxious, loud, rude people who don't really respect their place of habitance. I didn't want to be sterotyped like that (espeically not in Napoli) but also didn't want to be lost or stuck (especially in Napoli) so I sucked it up and went on in and asked for help in perfect English. Apparently it was a Metro that I had bought my ticket for and it was done stairs and hidden in the corner. Good thing I asked. I made it to my train on which I overheard two young boys talking and looking confused like they didn't know where they were going. I couldn't understand their language but thought it sounded like German, so I asked them in English where they where getting off the train. They didn't understand anything, so I asked again more slowly. One boy looked at the other and said, "Uh inglese, no lo so, questo é per te." Boooooooy did I feel like an idiot. They were Italian and I just hadn't understood their dialect. I later talked to them in Italian and explained my earlier behavior. They ended up giving me a suggestion for where to eat good pizza in Napoli, and now, we're Facebook friends. :)

When I arrived to Pompei I had no idea which way to go, but I wanted to see the ash-encrusted people I remembered so well from my history books, and it was nearing 3 o'clock. So since I had already given into my tourist status for the day I went up to the nearest English speaking people I could find and asked which way was what. They said the bus to the mountian was one way and the ruins were the opposite direction. For some reason my brain said, "Mountian, the people have to be near the mountian." So I went to the little sign that said Mt. Vesuvius Tours and asked for the next bus. He told me it was too late, and after the disappointment of not seeing the painting in the Sistine Chapel, my eyes almost filled with tears as I said, "You've got to be kidding me." He told me there was a local bus to arrive in 10 minutes I could take for €10 and I could just pay on the bus. So, spirits lifted, I waited for the bus, pushed my way in with all the other tourists, paid my €10, then got to thinking... ruins...ruins... hmmm, maybe I should ask where those people are just to make sure. Just as I had suspected...they were in the ruins. Crap. The tour guide also told me I would not have time to see them tonight becquse by the time we returned from the mountian the ruins would be closed. "You beat your *$$ I'm seeing the ruins today, let me off the bus." They stopped the bus and I walked back to the entrance of the ruins, only to pay another €11 to enter. Lesson learned again (this time the expensive way) DO YOUR RESEARCH AND KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

By this time I was in a heck of a hurry to find my people. So I segwaed like a bat outta you know where to the spot of the map where I thought they should be. However it still took me 20 minutes to find where I was on the map. I finally found them, and when I did, I was struck into silence. I just couldn't believe the pure sadness of it all. These people had acutally died just like this. Petrified in ash from a volcano. In their faces you can see their pain and sadness, and the little ones, the babies... after that I walked around in silence just aweing over the entire city. A big city, with houses that had rooms, streets, stadiums, schools, even vineyards. The entire city destroyed and still there was Mt. Vesuvius all erie and ominus shawdowing over the city. I left the park around 5 qnd took the metro back to Napoli.

In the train station I visited my good friend the "tourist specialist" for directions on how to get to the pizzeria my new friends had suggested. She told me, saw my confused look and told me of another one that was closer and older and better. She also assured me I would be okay to walk and had no need to take a cab. So I set out to find this place in the dark streets of Napoli walking with my eyes straight ahead, my hand on my purse, and the speed of a cheetah. I walked for a while and finally stopped to ask someone if I was close. I was close alright, it was right beside me and it was closed. I guess that happens on Sundays. So I figured I'd just stay on the same road until I found something, but anything I found was either closed or didn't have pizza. By the time I finally found something I was exhausted and practically blinded by hunger. The place I found was so perfect it even included the stero-typical Italians that speak in that thick accent and everyone secrectly suspects them to be a member of some mob. I had Mariana pizza and Lambrusco all for only €5.50 which is less than just a pizza would've cost in Rome. After my delighful dinner I had to find my way back to the train station through the mazes or roads I didn't recognize; more cheetah walking and asking which way to go from every decent person I saw. I made it there and safely to my train.

Getting back to Andrew's apartment in Rome was a hassle of it's own because of late busses and missed stops. At one point I was told by the official bus person to wait in the incorrect spot for my bus. After 20 minutes of waiting I finally asked someone near me. When they turned to point to where I shoudl go i saw my bus, getting ready to leave. I stupidly, yet successfully, sprinted in front of 2 lanes of traffic and right in front of the bus as it was pulling out. I finally made it safely to Andrew's by 12:30am and pratically collapsed on the floor from exhaustion. What a trip.

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