A Neapolitan Jaunt

italia-2006-124.jpgWell, as promised, I am giving a valiant effort to communicate with you from the land of wine, mandolins and basil (and other things like cement shoes and shooting someone while they are eating a plate of pasta at restaurant). I spent the day in Napoli with my cousins and my lady, taking in the jungle-like marketplaces and experiencing that most pure of pleasures: a pizza at its very birthplace–the culture-infused streets of Naples.

Since time is always of the essence when one travels, let me choose a particular anecdote. There I was, in a clothing shop when I noticed a curious sign. it was clearly an indication of price, but it was also clearly an upside-down four. It looked like a lower case 'h'. What's a guy to do, but to ask for clarification?

I summoned the sales clerk and asked him in Italian if that particular rack was 4 euros.

HIM: (translated for your convenience) "Yeah, those a four euros as marked."

ME: "But the four's upside down…"

HIM (Eyeing the sign more carefully): "It is?"

ME: "Yes, it looks like an 'h'"

HIM: "But it seems right. Yeah, there's nothing wrong with it. To be an 'h' you'd need another line up here.

ME: "That's if you want an upper-case 'h'. As it stand, this is a lower-case one."

HIM: "Hmm."

At this point I realized that either the gentleman was severely dyslexic, and I was simply cruelly drawing attention to this shortcoming, or I was not in the know about a new trend that was sweeping Italy. I mean, numerals are worldwide…you can't just up and change them to suit your personal style…

We also went to see Herculaneum, Pompei's smaller and better-preserved cousin at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano. Gorgeous. Great-looking bath-houses, still-coloured frescoes, and delightful ancient toilet system that facilitated my urination during one particular time of need when no one was watching and my girlfriend stood lookout for guards or Americans in bermuda shorts.

I totally have to go now…

Nos vemos.


2 Responses to “A Neapolitan Jaunt”

  1. 1 Rolland
    June 14, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Brilliant post! I loved it!

    As for the upside 4, that is the new trend Nick. I have seen it in Toronto recently and because Toronto is the centre of the universe you know that it is the next big thing. I guess the North Americans beat Europe to this one 😉

  2. June 14, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    Update from she who holds down all forts.

    1. Some guy from Ferrel Hair (or something of the sort)keeps calling to invite you to a free consultation. The last time he called I told him your hair loss was a result of chemo. He went silent and then I heard the dial tone kick in. Desperate times, you know…

    2. Guitar Case found in the depths of some community centre’s storage room two years after having left it there. Goes to show you whose got your back in this world.

    3. Aria pukes in your bed.

    4. Four days later I’m still forgetting that I should really clean up the puke.

    5. House cleaned on Saturday still clean on Wednesday.

    6. Jon eats a 5 pound bag of chocolate covered almonds.

    7. Aloe plant breathes its last breath

    8. Walkie Talkies purchased.

    9. Hot new neighbours (hetero couple where the gay guys used to live) invite me to join them in a menage a trois. They reconsider when they see Aria clean my beard…that’s right, I’ve been negligent on the chin hair plucking of late.

    10. All world cup games have been watched while ignominiously hiding out in the boardroom. Three of us do stakeout shift rotations. Walkie Talkies come in handy.

    11. Fired for yelling obscenities in walkie talkie when Ghana loses to pretentious Italy. (In case you don’t yet know, I have boycotted all things Italian in protest of your trip).

    12. Have you lost your mind wearing that suit in Naples?! Haven’t you heard of the string of mafia arrests over the last while? You’re playing with fire.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  3. June 15, 2006 at 10:54 am

    Great post!

    I’m so happy you’re having a great time & jealous.

    That picture is freakin’ awesome.

    Don’t forget to make your girlfriend buy a hot pair of Italian shoes.

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