Wednesday, 13 February 2013

You Mad? Don’t Go There, Its Dangerous

 I never did understood half of the warnings people give me. Probably a good thing too since if I did I would never had left the comfy bed and go out everyday to enjoy life. People are paranoid! Period! Heck even I get paranoid sometimes trying to be adventurous.

Despite some of the best warnings which I somehow failed to comprehend I was always glad to be there and experience the so called dangerous place and survive it.

My uncle told me when I was pit stopping in England.

“When you go to Ireland don’t go to Belfast. It’s not safe.”

All I heard was

“Go to Belfast” = new location recommended J
Get the general picture? Yes people are paranoid about dangers while traveling and especially more when you are alone plus world news never help when showing all the bad things in the world. Still if I would had listen … I would never had left Malaysia.

Southern Italy, Naples

Naples was one of the places where I got such warnings.

“Go there and find a safe place to stay and just go see Pompeii and make sure you get back before dark and get out as fast as you can.”

Apparently Pompeii was such a good recommend my uncle decided to risk my life and suggest me to go see it despite the dangers. Naples turns out to be one of my favorite Italian places. The danger however was not a joke. Many fellow Italian that I met along the way told me the same thing.

Naples was down to earth. The kind of place I like to visit. The real people and the real life not hidden by the entire good tourist picture painted places. You could see rubbish piling up everywhere, despite standing in a place with so much detailed architecture. Poverty can be seen through the richness of the old days and the locals seem to reject the outsiders.

I met two Mexican friends in the dorm who has been on the road for nearly two years and that was a real inspiration for travel. Why limit yourself to a gap year? I ended up tagging along with them walking around Naples looking for the infamous pizza place. My new friends was determined to find the most famous/delicious pizza in Naples which he had heard from another traveler and I of course loved to tag along on a hunt. We found the place eventually and boy the crowd made a long queue outside the small pizza shop. I was glad in a way because I would have never dined there if I were alone for you had to get a queue number and wait your turn to be seated. They call out every number in Italian and they only speak Italian. Good thing my new friends were Mexicans as they told me the language was very similar.

About an hour we waited and chatted up a few people waiting in the queue. All confirm of the quality and taste of the pizza here (All translated by my new friends).

Plus you could always understand Italian even if you dun understand Italian. The body language is extreme in junction with the facial expression. It seams they are trained to express their feelings by sign and body language as they talk. Wave’s arms in the air … make kissing sounds, blissful sound of satisfaction and finger pointing to the pizza shop. Yep I could clearly understand their Italian explanation that it was a good pizza shop

Our turn came up finally and we were seated in a table for four. Before we could order another random customer was seated with us. The place was so popular they sit people together regardless if you know them. It was good too in a way for this was a local guy who worked in Venice and he could speak little English. There were only two kinds of pizza in the shop. The menu had only two dishes.

  1. Pizza Margherita
  2. Pizza Marinara
As we waited for the pizza to be served we scanned the old shop decorated by time, and saw all the news clippings, trinkets, little photos of friends and family, memorable moments, happy joyful customer and famous dinners. AHHH … we now know why this place was the infamous pizza place …. Apparently one of the famous dinners was Julia Roberts and it’s the filming place for the movie “EAT, PRAY, LOVE”.

Drat it … another tourist attraction boomed by a movie. This might not be the best pizza place in Naples after all we thought. Might just be hype! A fake! The pizza came and the first bite washes all doubt away. Yep this shop was popular even before the movie and looking again at the old shop the clippings and photos goes back way before the movie. Still a bit of advert never hurts I guess.

Walking Around Naples at Night

Finished with pizza we decided to take a stroll around Naples and take in the night scene. There were three of us. Three guys. It should be save enough. As we walked around the city, it was poorly lighted and filled with people loitering around (African as far as we guessed) All of them were in groups just hanging, some played football in the streets and cars had to stop to let them play. Eyes were watching us and we could feel it too. Were they so many during the day? Not that I remembered. 

We were not combatable even with three of us together. It felt dangerous and we were not about to challenge it. Always trust your guts instinct. We turn back avoided walking into any groups and headed back to the dorm.

I wouldn’t know if it was a dangerous place or not or were we just being prejudice and judgmental of people. Who knows, they may be good hearted and was just chilling.

Still it’s always good to be careful but not too careful you don’t leave the house.

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