I had told you, I have much to tell about Naples. Here is Part II. I was so happy with my lovely B&B and was therefore full of happy energy. I set out to explore Naples. I walked all over the place. Until my feet hurt. I wanted to see the sea as soon as possible. Immediately. Like a little child who can’t wait to open his Christmas presents.
I need water. I have to see it, smell it, be in it, live it, be it. I walked down the street, Via Toledo, and there it was. So, I had arrived at the Duomo, had passed the theater/ opera house, and I had landed on this piazza where the grand blue sea was right below where stood, all in my eyes. I think I stared at it right there for half an hour if not longer.
Feeling comfortable that my sea was right there, I felt ready to go back to the city and see more of it. After all I could walk back any time, and see my water again. What a relief. What a city. I don’t know if it is for everyone. Naples is grand; and sad… Have you read Istanbul? Orhan Pamuk’s book about my city. And his. There he talks about “hüzün”; which is an authentic Turkish word that is hard to translate. It means something close to “melancholy”. A unique sense of sadness. He says Istanbul has it. Because Istanbul mourns over its forgone grandiosity. Lost Konstantinople.
I don’t know if Napoli mourns. But is has exactly that kind of melancholy. It was grand. Now it is tired. It is like an aged lady, once a diva. And therefore I fell for her. She still has her noblety, beauty, classic beauty, and then some. Her old historical buildings are run down, but they shout at you that they have been once homes to the kings and queens. That princes and princesses were born to their hands. Such is Napoli.
I walked and walked until I could no more. I walked in the streets where I could see the bed sheets hanging in between the balconies, just like in those pictures famous for Napoli. It was windy, so that they were swinging in the air, in all colors, big, small, plain, with flowers, with dots…
It was afternoon, I had got hungry and had missed my sea. I decided to have late lunch early dinner somewhere, where I could see the water. I found one such place close to the pier. It was nice and peaceful, and they had not tried to pull me in shouting at me with their menu in English.
My waiter was from India. During he served me, he told me all his life story. That he had arrived there with the hopes of earning much and going back home. It quite didn’t happen. Now he was sharing a flat with many others, working to pay for his rent and missing home much. He didn’t really know what he should do. He was a very polite, kind and nonetheless positive person. He smiled all the time. And he did it genuinely. I sat there for a long time, had the delicious mozzarella di buffala native of Napoli (actually I think even Capri, but more on that in Part III), watched my sea and it’s endlessly calm blue waters until my eyes hurt. Then I walked back home. Home to my lovely B&B and to Chiara, whom I knew was waiting for me to tell her my today’s story.