Friday, August 12, 2005

Napoli

I have been completely blown away by the filthiness of Naples. This is a very black city. The street pavers are black, the buildings are dirty, there is trash piled into the streets up to the level of my nipples in places. I am really a bit shocked. I hear that from a distance, the city is quite pretty...such as when seen from Vesuvio or Capri or Anacapri. I plan to find out tomorrow by taking a boat out to the island of Capri where I hope to rent one of the rowboats and crew to see the Blue Grotto.

My hotel is surrounded by prostitutes who want to know if I want to make love. Inside the hotel, the desk clerk has been adjusting his crotch constantly while talking with me to the point that I want to ask him "Frutti di mare?", but I have been afraid that I might find out the answer to my question. I am feeling a bit assaulted in every sense.

When I chose to go for dinner tonight, I was told that none of the restaurants in the area are open because it is the holidays. I was also informed that the room service menu that is in my room is really just for show as there is no restaurant here. I went out to find food and found a really bad chinese restaurant where the shrimp dumplings were made of pork, the chicken was more bone than chicken, but the crab and asparagus soup was good. At least there was enough to put on my stomach to keep it from digesting itself until tomorrow morning.

I am hoping that these first impressions are only due to the fact that this is one of my travel days. Typically, the heat, fatigue and exhaustion of lugging my bags around alter my mood to the point that my surroundings take on a negative air. I suspect that even I can not change the mood of Naples, but am hoping that tomorrow will be, as Scarlett O'Hara would have said, 'another day.' Someone in this city retains hope, I noticed tonight. On nearly every street corner, there is a shrine to the Virgin Mary, some brightly lit, some with flowers, others with red candles (which, appropriately, seem to be in the area where the prostitutes ply their trade).

Tomorrow's answers to today's questions will present themselves. Hopefully, I will find beauty and truth in Capri. I seem to find just raw truth tonight here in Naples.

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