NAPLES: Sorrento, Amalfi, and a web of lies

The day after my Vesuvius/Pompeii adventure I decided to venture down south to see what I could of the Amalfi coast. I had plans to spend the entire day hoping around between 5 or 6 different towns…but it turns out my Italy-navigating skills weren’t as hot as I thought they were. Between getting lost and busses not running when they should have been and random breakdowns and car accidents I only ended up making it to Sorrento and Amalfi. But it was still quite the adventure!


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Hello strange red hair…

Web of Lies:

I had just finished wandering around the streets and shops of Amalfi and was heading back to the bus station to try and catch the bus to Positano before it got too late in the day. I was just crossing the street when an Italian guy about 30 years old suddenly startled me to death by walking up to me and asking if he can help me find where I was going. Now…don’t get me wrong, the Neopolitan people were extremely nice and kind overall…but the men are a bit pushy and forward when it comes to foreign women. (Sister missionaries aren’t allowed to serve in Naples…if that helps illustrate the idea). The past few days I had been stared at, whistled at, cat-called at, lewd commented…at, and followed around and at this point I was completely tired of it. Even though it seemed this guy was trying to be helpful, I was in a hurry, already knew where I was going, and just didn’t want to deal with having a conversation at the moment.

I guess I looked a bit surprised when he approached me, because he asked if I spoke English. That gave me a brilliant idea! I mustered up the best Norwegian accent I could (which I’ll admit was rather pitiful, but he didn’t know that!) and told him “Just little…” while showing him how little with my fingers. He didn’t seem to have strong English himself so that would surely get him to go away right?? Nope… He asked where I was from as he continued to follow me down the street to the bus station. I told him I lived in Norway in half-English/half-Norwegian, again hoping it would make him go away, but no…he followed me all the way there. At least it’s a short walk and I’ll only have to keep up this Norwegian thing for another minute, I thought.  Wrong again. The brief conversation I had with him up the street had caused me to miss the bus and the next one wasn’t going to come for another 2 hours! Drat.

The guy (I don’t remember his name except that it started with an ‘r’, so let’s call him Rinaldo) insisted that he would keep me company until the next bus came and wouldn’t take no for an answer. There was no getting out of it now…I had to keep up my Norwegian-who-only-spoke-broken-English guise for 2 whole hours! We walked up and down the boardwalk while he jabbered away, either ignoring or forgetting that I supposedly “didn’t understand.” It was hard work, especially when he started telling me all about his travels to the US and I had to pretend that I’d only been to the US once before and could only understand half of what he was saying, all the while keeping up my terrible Norwegian accent. (It was really great when he started telling me all about Las Vegas…)

By the time the bus finally pulled in it was too late for me to visit Positano and make it back to Naples before dark (total bummer!), but as soon as it came I said goodbye to Rinaldo and jumped on anyway. I waited until I saw him walk away and disappear and then hopped off again to wait in the nearby cathedral for the next bus to Naples. Which ended up not being for another two hours.


Moral of the story? Lies lead to more lies lead to not getting to visit Positano. Heed my warning.

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3 Responses
  1. Brian Hill says:

    Wow Chelsea, you take some amazing photos.

  2. Your Mother says:

    What!!! Talking to strange men in strange lands?!! Didn’t your mother teach you blah, blah, blah, blah, Wait until your father gets home and hears about this! Blah, blah, blah, blah, don’t get me started on what bad things could have happened blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blad, read about it in the newspapers every day, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, how lucky you are, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, angels watching over you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, should know better, blah, blah, blah, blah, a mother’s prayers, blah, blah, blah, blah….

    That said, it sounds like you had a fun adventure! Can’t wait to have you show us around when we visit.

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