Tuesday, 15 April 2014

~ The first day in Napoli ~

     We got up early the next day. I could see the sun through the shutters and I couldn’t wait to sit on the terrace for breakfast. I mean, if we had any breakfast. The thought of having nearly ransacked the kitchen the night before made my stomach twist in hunger. I’d already had a shower and accepted the idea that we would need to go out for breakfast, but when I got to the kitchen, I beamed with joy.
    ‘Oh, benedetto Gennaro! Lisa, come. Quick. Gennaro has left some more cornettos and Nutella! And there’s milk in the fridge!’
    ‘Shhhh… Carolina, it’s still early and people are still sleeping,’ she walked into the kitchen looking inside the fridge. ‘Hummm… jam, orange juice, yoghurt… Man, this Gennaro rocks!’
    We put one of each of everything on a plate – yes, only one of each this time – and went to have breakfast on the terrace.
    ‘Ah… what a difference from yesterday, eh, Carolina,’ Lisa spread Nutella on both sides of her cornetto.
    ‘I know. I can’t wait to go out for a walk. You know, I’m really anxious to meet our boss. She seemed lovely on Skype, didn’t she? I hope my students are friendly. Besides, I’ve never taught in my life! It’s going to be easy for you. You’ve been teaching for ages!’
    Lisa had just had a huge bite of her cornetto, and made a sign for me to wait. She licked a bit of Nutella from the corner of her mouth.
    ‘Yeah, you’re right about the teaching, but I can’t speak a word of Italian. Actually, I can say cazzo!
     I gave her a look of reproach, I gesticulated with my hand in an upward-pointing cone.
     'Cazzo, ma che cazzo, Lisa!'
     'Cazzo, simply cazzo. Haha, Carolina, I love this word.'
    We both made a face and cracked up.
    ‘Ok, seriously, when are we meeting her?’
    ‘Tomorrow, at 2pm. We’re going to the school, which is not far from here.’
    ‘Hum…’ I finished gulping down my milk. ‘So, that means we have the whole day to explore?’
    ‘Oh, yes, Signorina Carolina. We have the whole day. Where’s our guide? Let’s see where we want to go first.’
    We decided to go and see Napoli from the top first, so we went to Castel Sant' Elmo. We walked past Piazza Dante, through some tiny cobbled streets with little shops. Clothes shops, grocery shops, shoe shops, more clothes shops and more grocery shops. Mostly men sitting relaxed at tables on the pavement, drinking coffee, smoking, talking very loudly and, of course, gesticulating. I couldn’t understand a word. I guess they were speaking Napolitan.
    We got to Montesanto funiculare station and after a short ride up to Morghen station and a little walk we were there. I’d never been on a funiculare before, and I was a bit afraid. What if this thing just breaks and we slide all the way down? We’ll all die there. But it was cool and I could see all types of people around me. Some people dressed really well; others could really do with a stylist.
    Lisa and I looked up. The castle is not so big, really, but for someone who never even sees castles, this one was amazing. Its hexagonal shape with very high walls was imposing. There’s a kind of a piazza there, at the bottom of the castle street, right in front of the Museo di San Martino.
     ‘Hey, Lisa, let’s go over there. There’s loads of people down there. I bet the view is beautiful.’
    What I saw when I got to the end of the street enchanted me. It was love at first sight. It was the first time I saw “it”. The great Mount Vesuvius. The terrifying Vulcano Vesuvio. The one and only that had destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum; one that I had only in my wildest dreams imagined I’d see in person one day. Wow. Wow. Wow.
    ‘Carolina? Oi? Knock, knock.’
    ‘Oh, sorry Lisa. Wow. Isn’t it astonishing? I can’t wait to go to the top. Do you think they let us go to the crater?’
    ‘Jesus, Carolina. Aren’t you afraid? One thing is to visit Pompeii. Now, walking around the crater… I’m not sure.’
    ‘Lisa, if I’m afraid or not, it doesn’t make a difference now, does it? We’re already here. Come on. Let’s get inside the castle. I want to see it from the top.’

    ‘Oh my God, Lisa! It’s even more beautiful from here. It’s just majestic. Can you imagine all those people who died there, without even knowing what was going on? I wonder what life there used to be like, what they were doing when the it exploded for the first time..’
    ‘Carolina, Carolina…’ Lisa came closer and smiled. ‘You have such a great imagination. I’m sure you’ll write a book one day. And I want to be the first one to get an autograph, ok? And if it becomes a Hollywood blockbuster, I want Luci Liu to play me and I want to go to the premiere, ok? And if you never write a book, and fall in love with a handsome Napolitan man and get married, can I be one of your bridesmaid, please?’
    ‘Hey, calm down there, missy. Who said anything about falling in love? We are here to work, travel around and have a good time, right? I’ve had enough of romance for a long time. Now, let’s go find a place to eat. I’m starving, dying to try the Vera Pizza napolitana: Margherita!’
    'Ok. Oh, but Carolina... if it really becomes a movie and we actually go to the premiere, can you try and hook me up with Daniel Craig...?'


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