Greetings from Napoli, and 2010. I need you all to know that I wrote about half of a stunningly articulate and poignant piece that really summed up my Peace Corps experience, but that due to technical difficulties involving flashes (and not flashing) my musings are now gone for ever. Sorry about that. I’ll try again from the States, as I think it’s probably a good idea to write about the Peace Corps craziness while I can still remember said craziness.
But for now, Jess and I are in Italy, and having a wonderful time. Except for the fact that our bags weigh approximately 749 kg, and that buses don’t run on the day after Christmas OR Sundays, and that the piercing guy was too sick to work, things are really going remarkably well. We leave Napoli today for Caserta, which apparently has a huge, Versailles-esque castle, and not much else. This is based on the guy working the desk at our hostel, who is apparently from there and laughed sort of ominously when we said that’s where we’re headed next. So it’s possible we are headed to the Tacoma of Italy. But you know what? There will still be cheese there, so it doesn’t even matter.
Right. Here are my random observations on Italy:
- Purple puffy jackets. On everyone. Is this happening in America too? Why is it being allowed? Although, I have to say, the Italians almost pull it off. Or maybe I’m just distracted from it by all of the amazing eyewear. Thank god I have purple glasses.
- Lack of personal space. Which I think would probably be more uncomfortable for me if I hadn’t just come from the land of NO PERSONAL SPACE.
- No one sits. And this doesn’t seem to be a problem for any one but us. Would you like a lovely cappuccino? Great. Go stand at the bar and enjoy. Sucker. Of course its possible everyone else is wearing shoes manufactured outside of China that cost less then$7.
- Dinner. At 9pm. Quoi? Everyday Jess and I say we’re gonna do it right. We’re going to eat lunch at the right time, and nap, and be both rested and hungry at 9pm. And we’ve done it! About twice. Somehow we always end up skipping a meal somewhere. Somehow we always seem to be famished at about 5pm. Just in time for the early bird special. IF YOU ARE IN AMERICA. Instead we accidentally sort of eat something delicious and small(ish! Or at least that is our intention!) at 5 and then we just aren’t hungry enough at 9. Because Italians? THEY KNOW HOW TO EAT. God Bless ’em. We leave the country in 4 days, and we’re going to do dinner right at least one more time before then.
Also, here are some awesome things about Italy, or maybe Europe, or maybe the Western world:
- On trains and buses, YOU GET A WHOLE SEAT ENTIRELY TO YOURSELF. Like, for the whole trip. Jess and I keep purposely taking the slowest, local trains possible because we are thrilled with this. The Italians think maybe we’re a little slow, but we’re too busy napping comfortably to notice.
- Art. Old. New. Graffiti. In public spaces. It’s fantastic. EVERYTHING HERE IS BEAUTIFUL.
- Gelato. If you need an explanation we are not friends. Or related.
Ok, we’re off to catch a train. Yea! Can you believe our luck? Too bad it’s only for an hour or so.
Best wishes to everyone, and I’ll see you all soon! You’ll know it’s me because I won’t be wearing a puffy purple jacket.