Remembering Italy-Pt. III…
Cute servicemen to walk beside, market places filled with vibrant fruit and fish, sweet perfume on the air, catcalls from behind, dogs meeting each other shyly or wrestling each other for domination on the sidewalks while their owners chat. This is Italy.
Visited downtown Naples. An explosion of sounds, smells, and colorful scenery. The streets were packed with inexpensive wares, people crowded about, shopkeepers were either hauty and aloof or sweetly helpful. The women stared as much as the men. We went down narrow, shadowed alleys to view Christmas trinkets. Ancient churches held old mysteries. The city embraced us.
Shopping Spree on the Way to Capri Island
On our last weekend in the country, my friend Georgia and I ventured downtown for last minute shopping and a ferry out to the island of Capri. The bus driver kindly let us out right in front of an open air market one Sunday on our way to the ferry. My friend bought gently used furs for next to nothing, while I bought men’s suit jackets for 5 euro each. We found sweaters for one euro. We were in heaven, until we saw men watching us and whispering to each other. “Time to go!” I said softly, and we hauled our finds back to a bus and returned to our parked car. We then left again for Capri. We walked the island, took a funicular (box car) to the top, just like the Incline that goes up and down Lookout Mtn back home. We saw several celebs pasted to the wall of a self-photo maker. Ate dinner by the sea and came home in the dark.
Stranded in Paris-Oh My!
We left our hotels bright and early on the day we were to fly home. The car was packed to the brim. Georgia requested assistance, so my other colleague and I became her impromptu “daughters” so we could accompany her. She was wearing the fur. She wore that fur the whole way home. The Italian men were still blowing us kisses and calling us “ Amore” as we walked to the plane. The man who assisted us wanted to hug us all goodbye.
In the Paris Airport I noticed a gorgeous family of Africans in front of me. Tall, with smooth mocha skin, they moved with elegance and grace as they waited in line. My friend was taken by them. I wondered if they were from Senegal. I asked them in French, and they responded. Turned out, they were Peuls (Fulanis), the ethnic group I lived with for two years, almost 20 years ago.
I greeted them in Pulaar and they responded. They took my picture and got my phone number so that they could invite me to stay with them the next time I visited Senegal. The woman told me her child and husband had died. When I expressed my sorrow, she said simply, “Ah, that’s life.” I realized I was truly homesick for Senegal. I need to return soon.
Because of the fur, the assistance requested by Georgia, and a delayed flight out from Italy, we missed our connection from Paris to ATL. We got a free hotel stay, dinner, and a new flight out of the deal.
On the plane finally headed for ATL, my “sister” requested hallal or kosher food, though she is neither Jewish nor Muslim. Of course the airline did not have anything prepared for her. She ended up with lots of snacks, which we ate. We then dubbed her “Princess” for the rest of the flight. Finally home, my luggage arrived a couple days later. The holidays were right around the corner. I could have kissed the runway. The End