Thursday, June 4, 2009

When in Naples, Look Behind the Bushes

Naples' big attractions are supposed to be Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii. We did both in what you could call “sweating to the oldies” since the volcano involves climbing uphill over loose ash pebbles and the ancient city lacks shade.

But the real attention-getter? An impromptu walk along the streets of Naples, where we had the great timing to witness a vendor bust. As in 17 cop cars descended on a square to arrest the illegal street sellers. It was definitely an added entertainment bonus for the folks grabbing a pastry and coffee at the sidewalk cafes, too.

But you know, I’m a cop’s kid, so I’ve seen petty crime arrests before. It’s exciting on television — in real life it’s people filling out paperwork. So we went on our merry way, turned the corner to look at yet another cathedral in Europe, and saw something far more interesting.

A man hiding behind the potted plants, one hand wrapped around his signboard full of sunglasses, the other hand dialing the keypad on his cell phone. Which meant when I whipped out my camera to take a photo of this hilarious sight, he had his hands too full to do more than glare at me.

If I had some kind of control over fate, the cops would have seen what I was up to and come over to investigate, cooking this dude’s goose in the process. It would have been great revenge on every annoying street vendor who has tried to make me a deal over the years. That was my only hope, of course, since I can’t speak Italian beyond saying arrivederci in a decidedly American accent.

But I’m sure it was the one word this peddler wanted to hear me say.


Katie said...

How funny!! Meanwhile, Pompeii is on my short list of places to visit. I've been dreaming about it ever since authors of a book about Pompeii came to my elementary school.

delightfuldwelling said...

Wow, looks like you get to travel everywhere. How exciting.

Julie Sturgeon said...


Pompeii was probably the most impressive part of this trip. I thought we'd be looking at an excavation site, where you stare into holes they've dug in the ground, like Jamestown. Nope. You walk through the city!

Delightful, I have been pretty blessed in my life. But I haven't been everywhere yet. I still have entire continents to see. LOL