Day 8 – Naples
Saturday, 22nd April
when I woke up yesterday, I agreed with my aunt: Naples? No way!
It's loud here.
That doesn't change throughout the day.
At a truly unchristian time, the noise doubled. I stood upright in bed. It took a moment to understand why. A piercing singsong went through marrow and bone, repeated itself, increased, ebbed a little and started all over again.
The night before we had passed a mosque and had not thought of anything bad. That changed – now. It was Friday morning. Friendly but firm, the muezzin called for Friday prayers. He could confidently begin with this at an unchristian time. He had converted me insofar as I had unchristian thoughts.
What perseverance! Matthias slept next to me, I got a headache.
At some point Matthias woke up, we got up and had breakfast in the kitchen, which faces the inner courtyard. The muezzin stoically and noisily spread his message through the closed room door. And then – for no apparent reason – there was silence.
When we returned to the room we could still hear the street noise but Friday prayers were over.
Then we wanted to take a closer look at Naples.
What should I wear?
Sandals with socks?
Then I would be clearly recognizable as a German.
However, I remembered that the puddles from the continuous rain of the last week are still well filled. So sturdy shoes. A pity!
During the day I changed my mind a bit. About Naples, not my choice of shoes. But only after my head stopped hurting.
I even liked the hustle and bustle: Colour-wise, people in their best Friday best stood out. They strode through the scurrying crowd in shining robes.
There were also several laurel-wreathed people on the road. A sash revealed the reason for their appearance.
"Dotoressa," it said.
So they had graduated and were celebrated for it. I explained to Matthias that "laureata" has two meanings: laurel wreathed and graduate.
In between, others were happy in Schalke costumes. They had decorated all over the city. White and blue flags and pennants fluttered between criss-crossed barrier tapes.
We made a wide detour to the sea. It would have been quieter there if people hadn't replaced the sails on their surfboards with motors. If you don't have a lawnmower, Kärcher or leaf blower, you just have to make yourself heard with a motor on the surfboard.
Looking in the opposite direction, we noticed that Naples also extends over a mountain. Wikipedia told us that four cable cars lead up there, but concealed the fact that one of them is out of service. The one that was near us, of course. I could have guessed it! So we climbed up on foot.
It struck me: Stairs are not only found on Capri. Naples is a real competitor in this respect. However, here they are less steep, less exposed and less overgrown. And – you can make very good progress without a machete.
Nothing can be heard from the hustle and bustle of the lower town. They make their own noise here. For this purpose, they have equipped each car with a horn. I have a suspicion that the horn is directly coupled to the gear shift and brake. That would explain a lot.
We could see everything from above. This time it was Matthias' turn to explain. He commented on what I was seeing there. Capri, Vesuvius and the coast to Sorrento.
We used a cable car to go down. The mountain stations are close together. So we had free choice. Eventually I forgot about the noise. I no longer noticed it. I just spoke louder.
The Italians I talked to were surprised that we were Germans. Without socks and Birkenstock sandals you are really optimally camouflaged. I asked that they should not reveal our incognito to anyone, otherwise we would no longer be allowed to enter Germany.
It's amazing how much people will believe if you speak a language badly enough. No one can imagine anyone going to all that trouble just to make a joke. Perhaps if I had claimed to be English beforehand, people would have realized I was joking more easily. However, I'm enough of a realist to know that I'll be exposed immediately.
A lot has happened, especially in tourist areas. 30 years ago, the only way to get around here was to speak Italian. That has changed. You can now ask for directions in English and get an understandable answer. Of course, the hands are used, which is a real enrichment for me as a person who mistakes right and left for directions.
With plans for today, we rang in the evening. I would have liked to have accompanied that with the bell ringing for Saturday Mass to pay me back for the morning.So I urgently need to install a bell app on my phone.
P.S.: I was pointed out why the Friday prayer was so loud. It was Bayram, the Sugar Festival, which means the end of Ramadan. Just as important as Easter or Christmas. Ok, on these holidays, Catholic church bells are successful in keeping their neighbors from sleeping too.