Italy Day 3: Napoli at Night

January 22, 2012

I told ya'll before that Napoli at night did not feel like a safe place. One of the younger guys on our trip didn't go out with us the night before because he had read that this was one of the most crime heavy places in Italy. There are a couple of factors that play into that though, #1 the mafia is legit, and #2 the current economic standing of Italy has caused a drastic rise in crime. I laid in bed in Rome the first night and watched the news, not understanding a lick of what was verbally said, until suddenly I recognized they were talking about a fight that broke out between police and I am assuming a protestor who was either badly hurt or killed in the situation...and it occurred in Barberini. Right where we were a few hours earlier. I was nervous. The goal was to never end up in the midst of a protest from that point forward, luckily we never saw one...and we didn't go looking either. 
Once our train arrived back in Napoli we came up the stairs to hear and see a full on Italian concert. None of that American influence mess MTV flaunts all over the television. Earlier that day there wasn't even a stage, now there was a full on performance, it was great by the way, with people dancing and enjoying themselves. While we were standing in the crowd a girl came by handing out coupons for McDonald's. Oh praise the Lord! Foreign Micky Dee's is pricy, and I just got my hands on a bogo Big Mac and something called a Bacon Burger-it was full of bacon. My life goal from that point forward was to eat McDonald's. Heck let's just be honest, I have a goal to eat McDonald's in every country I visit...and British Micky Dee's sucks.
We then trudged through the bad part of town back to our pretty bed and breakfast in the ghetto to meet up with our group who had just spent the day wandering the coast near Sorrento. After hanging out in the apartment for a bit, and trying some buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto and bread that Monroe had brought back-The ham and bread were great, but the mozzarella was a little off, we wandered back out into the streets as a group of 8 to enjoy the night.

I'll be honest with you, I was in a mood. A big mood at that. I wanted so desperately to have fun, but by this point we were all tired and personalities were starting to clash a bit due to the tiredness. I didn't help the situation. I was sick of spending over $10 euros for dinner every night-with 2 people that is crazy. It is essentially 15 bucks a plate every night. I wanted to go much cheaper. Plus I was sick of the food. We had bread for breakfast, sandwiches or pizza for lunch, and pasta or pizza for dinner. To get actual meat was just way to far out of my price range. I was just cranky.

So as you can imagine finding a restaurant this night was a chore. The first one we went to had a sign that said American and French menus. That alone through me off the ledge, I had read somewhere that when they start in on the touristy English menus you will be paying much more. And I held that menu and looked that waiter in the face and said forget it, it costs too much. He argued back in English, and I think poor Jeremy nearly died. But like I said I was hungry, tired, sick of carbs, and still in pain. We were all in pain from the walking up and down ancient streets. Not a good combo.
We did finally make it to one restaurant and everyone ordered, except me. I just couldn't stand the thought of carbs again and a salad here was as much as a real entree. I had hit my spending ceiling and could take no more.

Jeremy ordered the pasta in the pic above, I tasted it and it is the one pasta dish we had that I think was amazing. Who knows what it was though, I sure can't remember. It is nothing I have ever heard in the states at least.
After dinner we walked the very dangerous traffic filled streets towards the castle. We crossed the 4 lane highway at one point, and I was convinced we could die.
After playing chicken with the cars we made it to the coast. I was expecting some sort of beach, two nights of trying and we couldn't find a thing. This is as close as we ever got.
Back to the castle.

After our long search we finally found the "nice" part of Napoli. As nice as Napoli gets. There was a Zara store in here is the only reason I give it that.
The hanging Christmas tree.
The teenagers were doing it so we did too. Not the best angle.

Zara whoop whoop. I wanted to go shopping, but never once got to. We did go through street markets, but real stores were a no go. This was indeed a very fast paced history oriented trip.

The one nice street in Napoli. Literally one.

After that the pictures end for the night, and for good reason. I went from casually walking with the group to constantly worrying someone would grab me. And they did a few blocks later. I literally thought "I need to hold onto my purse and camera" and a block later had a reason to think that.

As we crossed a street the guys crossed first and I was at the head of the girls. I know we weren't supposed to stall, we were told to just walk no matter what. But I just couldn't, as Jeremy crossed the two men on motorcycles reved their engines and threatened to hit him. The bike seriously stopped right at his leg. I just couldn't do it so I paused. Worse decision of the night! The biker drove through our group, shoving his hand into my chest, and gripped my purse and camera strap. He then floored it, while still holding onto me.

It all happened so fast I couldn't react past pulling back on my purse and camera, I was wearing them cross-body and he was about to take me with him if he pulled again. The guys weren't facing me, but the girls got the full view. Luckily the biker let go, he was going to wreck himself if he pulled me any harder, crotch rockets just don't have the ability to balance while carrying human dangling at its side.

In case you are wondering he didn't get anything. If he had he would have had a Sam's card and some Bath and Body Works lotion. Jeremy was carrying all of our money for that very reason-but I will get into how to carry money when I post at the end about travel tips for Italy.

After that the guys decided we, the girls, should walk on the inside of the street, while they walked beside us. I think they were a little creeped out because they were giving up directions to walk on certain sides depending on how many people were in the street and if there were bikes involved.

One block later though we realized that the Vespa behind the motorcycle from earlier was following us. Seriously following us. As we came to every new street block he would pull up, stop, and watch us for a second, and then speed away. We assumed he was just making the blocks, because every block he was back watching us again. This went on for probably a mile. Even to the point where when the last person stepped though the tiny doorway to Napoli Centrale Colby noticed him watching us go into the B&B. That freaked me out far worse than the mugger. We went from walking a casual pace to nearly running back to the hotel.

Funny enough, when we got back inside Jeremy asked if I wanted to go out and get McDonald's like I had planned. I obviously answered no, and he offered to go alone. I vetoed that one as well. There was no way I was, or was letting anyone else go out into the streets that night again. Had we not just been stalked back to the hotel then maybe, but that guy stood a good 1/2 mile between me and my Big Mac and I wasn't going to risk it.

So I went to bed hungry and dying to watch tv in English. I was left with Teen Mom and a few granola bars to get me though the night.
Next post: Train Strike...change of plans.