real llive napoli
|neopolitain: red, white, dirty...|
first, all people do is eat, or yell. the tiny streets barely let in any light through the endless layers of driying laundry, mostly bed sheets and large sized underpants with tri-syllable brand names emblazoned along the waistbands.
the eating part: as soon as we exited the train station, trying to get our bearings we were approached by a well-dressed man eating a lasagna. with his hands. no plate, no napkin, it's like someone handed him a lasagna and that was his lunch. you can imagine where the bolognaise and bechamel ended up, all over his chin, shirt, spraying my face with cheese and his friendly directions. he pointed us in the right direction with an oil and tomato soaked hand. grazie!
the traffic part:
crossing the street, we patiently waiting for the light to change, as any self respecting germans would. and we waited. i estimated about 60% of the godawful traffic actually looked at, much less obeyed any street light. the only way to cross is to stand with a bold local napolitain, and strategically position yourself so they will take the brunt of the impact from the hood of a fiat. but even my bold napolitain didn't prevent a scooter rider - who was texting on his phone AND arguing with his girlfriend riding behind him- from nearly running over my toes, then honking at me and berating me before speeding off and resuming his multi-tasking. even when we did cross at a light in front of traffic obeyers, they still honk and yell at eachother. and they are probably eating pizza. this is napoli.
sidewalks, or whatever part of the street you are able to walk on do not make you immune from the constant barrage of elbow banging, knee swiping traffic. as a pedestrian, you slide along the buildings, back to the wall like you are inching along a ledge 5 stories up. as shirtless men with big hairy bellies watch you from their balconies.
the dangerous part:
at one point i had the brilliant suggestion of taking a side-street, as a possible temporary respite from the deadly, unrelenting traffic and endless parade of slow walking fatties (everyone wears heels, no matter how fat). looked calm enough. low and behold, here come 2 scooters, arguing with eachother, a machismo fueled event that inevitably devolves into a fist fight. one guy is punched in the face, scooter falls over. instead of picking up the scooter though, he is rummagin for a gun, well, more like trying to wrangle it from his waist band, but it gets stuck between his pink lacoste polo shirt and the fatty folds of his hairy belly, but eventually, it comes out, a shiny black pistol aimed squarely at the other guy. there is screaming, crying..some tension...suddenly me and 50 other people are all watching, in a nanosecond i can't tell if i'm on my couch, watching HDTV, is this showtime or AMC? and i reach over for my drink, or the remote to save this channel (good, real live action!), i realize, wait, this isn't an episode of the Sopranos, i am directly in the line of fire - this is real live napoli! run!