Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory.
…What a silly request, Challenge List Maker! I couldn’t possibly. A good memory will have to suffice. One which happened in a place che si chiama Portici, Italia. Portici is a suburb of Napoli, which is in the southern half of the country, and, in a fair world, ‘Portici’ would mean ‘land of adorable elderly gentlemen who dote on young, fair skinned American girls.’
Getting there was a battle. Naples is a little more gruff than the northern Tuscan beauty, we had an untried route to follow, and trainlines with names like Circumvesuviana (CHEER-cum-vess-ooh-vee-YAH-nah) (meaning ‘encircling Mt. Vesuvius’) to find. After running to catch the last train and missing our stop, we were a little disheartened; a little nervous. Luckily, our little old Italian man angels were there to guide us through, first at the train station, then at the depot, then on the sidewalk, then outside the hostel. “Oh, Americans?! Clearly you need to be going THAT way. Go THAT way, deary.”
After a magical few days there where we met Arianna (an amazing Italian Archeological student from Bologna) (she had an Aerosmith tattoo),
and visited Pompei (on the only day it didn’t rain, which happened to be the ticket-taker’s birthday: “EH EH, it’sa me birthday! For free for free!”), we checked out and headed onward. Upon exiting the hostel, there was a market that had magically sprung up on a Martedì morning, completely encompassing the entire neighborhood. It was like we opened the gate to an entirely new world.
I could describe for you all the things we found in that market but for heaven’s sake, I need to make my point. On a stool outside of his shop, an old man sat. He just sat. Watched. When he saw us, his eyes got wider and he started gesturing excitedly. “Foto? FOTO?!?” Did he want a picture of us? Did he want to take a picture for us? Did he want to see our camera? No to all.
He wanted us to have our photo taken with him and several other men in his butcher shop. I mean, I’m not sure why that wasn’t our first thought. Of course we want to be ushered into your meat store and remember you for the rest of our lives.
I will go back to little Portici someday. I want to relive that moment everyday for the rest of my life.
Let’s revisit Day 3. I regret my choice to negate the value of all television, because I did spend a good deal of time enjoying this man’s face and the antics of his compadres.
(You’re welcome, Jeanna.)