Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Armpit of Italy

Day 5
Florence - Naples

This morning we woke up, packed our things, said goodbye to the convent and moved off to the train station. We had bought tickets the previous day (rather pricey might I add – 67 Euros) so we just waited for a train. And waited. And waited. It took a while but we got on and to paint a picture for you of the public displays of affection here in Europe – the couple sitting on the other side of the carriage from us were fully making out across their table! Bleh! Lip smacking gets tiring because they then fell asleep. They do this all throughout Europe it’s acceptable to do this in public... wouldn’t surprise me if other Europeans went up to the couple and patted them on the back. Weird. This was only a three hour train ride but it felt like forever given the annoying people sitting all around us. Every two second someone’s annoying ringtone would go off and everyone had their own specialised one didn’t they. OH MY GOODNESS. The woman sitting right next to me was friends with people on the other side and a nice person would kindly ask is they could switch seats so they could talk to one another. No. She just talked really loudly OVER me... and then they started swapping items out of their bags as they passed them right over my lap – jees people! By the end of train ride I wanted to slam that woman’s face into the table... But mostly I got sick of having people walking down the aisle putting their butts in my face.

All that aside we made it to Naples! Luckily, the Australian girl in our room in Florence had just come from there and stayed in the same hostel so she warned us that it was a dirty little hole. Thank god she did. On further research Naples is known as the armpit of Italy which is about right. The only reason we came here was so we could go to Pompeii – which we did the following day. On arrival in Naples we were bombarded by all these guys wanting to give us taxi rides – whilst dodging them we wanted to find out about how to get to the airport and all these people kept transferring us somewhere – no one knew anything. Very frustrating. We left the train station and in the four minute walk to the hostel I learnt a lot about Naples... To cross the road you just wait for other people to do it and then follow them – they can’t hit us all! No one obeys any road rules so just shut your eyes and run. Also the residents of Naples like to pick their noses in public. Nice. Various men made leering comments at us and eventually we waded through the mess to get inside our hostel. This is the mess. They have a market outside our hostel everyday and at the end of the day they just leave everything behind and let someone else clean it up – charming. This means that the only time the street is clean is at night – with no one about. We were warned not to go out at night because it was pretty dangerous and thievery is high. The man running the hostel gave us a whole run down of what not to do - you couldn’t take a handbag because they target people like that so we had to stash money down our socks, shorts, bras etc. He was a really lovely man and told us where there was a good cheap pizza place – hell yeah.

All afternoon though we hid in our hostel for fear of going out! The bathroom in our room is something worthy of mentioning. Look at it... there’s all these random pipes sticking out held together with duct tape... and the shower was just a cubicle of mould. The nice guy running the place made up for it thought... so did the free internet. We met this nice guy Geoff from Florida who was going to Pompeii the following day so he would come along with us – yay protection.
Eventually, we plucked up the courage to go out and get something to eat – linking the arms the entire time. We found the pizza place – Da Michele – and had amazing pizzas and Coke from glass bottles – what a novelty.

We then decided to have a look about the shops (getting bold now that we were out) and learnt that a) everything is cheap here and b) you can’t try anything on in the stores except for pants. We went into one store where Miranda found this top she really liked and she asked the woman politely may I try this on? “No”. Firm. In the end Miranda bought it anyway after resisting the urge to punch the girl hovering around us – seriously they just wait for you to touch something so their eyes can widen and they can shout at you. Goodness me. After we walked out of the shop – so did the crazy girl! Did she even work there? What the? Walking about we were also offered an iphone to buy – clearly this guy had just taken it out the back of someone’s pants and was selling it.

Back to the hostel where I managed to make the crazy shower leak all over the floor. Sigh. We had a tv and decided to entertain ourselves with crazy Italian shows. We watched an American movie with Jennifer Aniston – it was all in Italian – but Miranda still knew what was going on and how it would end... amazing talent. In the ad break was an ad for sun tanning lotion – fair enough – the camera panned up a bronze looking woman only to reveal she wasn’t wearing a top! Yay boobies! That shocked us a bit... made me laugh a lot though... After a while another girl in our room showed up telling us that she had to get up at 4am the next morning to catch a plane – fine – we said only to have her – the next morning – at 4am leaving the alarm ringing! It went off and she just sat on the bed with it still ringing whilst Miranda tried not to throw herself at the girl and go for the jugular. What joys will tomorrow bring? Stay tuned.

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