I had a fantastic (but too short!) visit with the Aracri family on Sat. night into early Sun. afternoon. They are one of the sweetest families I’ve ever met and consistently go out of their way to make me/us (whomever is visiting them) feel at home. The family consists of Enzo & Maria (the mom and dad), their daughter Alina (who’s married with children), Lorenzo and Marco.
In the midst of all this, we were part of the traffic like I’ve never seen before. It made me nervous, and everytime there would seem to be a close call, I would laugh and Lorenzo would laugh along with me knowing it’d be okay but laughing at my reaction. I completely trust his driving – in fact, Italians have crazy (awesome) skills driving vehicles into precarious situations that we as Americans would never even try! As Lorenzo says, Naples has it’s own style of traffic. 🙂I loved the fact that Maria spoke at the perfect pace for me, and Lorenzo was super patient trying to decipher what the heck it was I was trying to say. I must say, this weekend I spoke the most Italian I had since I’ve been here and it was nice to really think and practice. The point came across which is what matters. At one point I obviously was struggling and Lorenzo asked me to say it in English – his way of being polite not being able to understand what it was I was trying to say.
We then went to their hometown of Pozzuoli, located outside Naples. We went to a huge sports complex where Marco works, and we met up with Enzo and Alina and her family there. This complex was something else by Italian standards – even for the US it’d be quite nice! It was huge and had a beautiful pool, basketball court, etc. Shortly after, Lorenzo took me to Marco’s very modern, very posh home where I was able to stay the night. I was able to freshen up before he picked me up again to head out for the night. We went to a pub for dinner while watching the Napoli soccer team win their game against Milano. It was a funny feeling to me, of course, not being much of a sports fan, let alone being in a place where soccer rules! Everyone else was cheering and standing up when Napoli scored…and I was like, oh, that’s the team we’re rooting for? 😉I continuously am reminded how dumb it is that the US isn’t using the metric system. When trying to decide which beer to order, I went with the smaller one (25 liters I think) because the 40 sounded like too much. I had flashbacks of college with 40 oz. beers, and I thought to myself how drunk I’d be if I had one of those. When the small beer arrived, I was surprised and smiled….yet again, good ol’ US messing with my brain! I did end up ordering a 2nd (this time the 40 one) and yes…I consumed too much. It sucks getting older. On the flip side, I had no reservations about speaking Italian.Afterward the group of us went out around Pozzuoli where it’s a social scene. I love it – it’s a lot of fun! People are all over the streets, cars are trying to move past you, you almost get hit by cars or motor bikes about 10 times…what’s there not to love? Joking aside, it is fun to see so many people out and about. It has a very lively culture and that’s something I’d seriously been lacking over the past few weeks (maybe even years).
Here is a photo of: Me, Marco, Mila (Lorenzo’s girlfriend), Lorenzo, and a friend of Marco’s who spoke English quite well. The next morning Lorenzo picked me up and we went to breakfast with his parents at a beautiful sea side café. The weather has been unseasonably warm this year and this October morning was like summer! After saying goodbye to Maria and Enzo, Lorenzo took me on more of a ‘giro’ (tour) around the city before we headed back to the train station.
Saying goodbye this time was particularly hard for me – I don’t know why. I really enjoy spending time with all of them and of course, I don’t know when I’ll be back. It amazes me how much they go out of their way to always welcome me (or us) and no matter how much time passes, we pick up where we left off. It’s awesome. I look forward to next time for sure!