This means liar, and a friend of mine in class called me a bugiardona (female variant) when we were talking about how often I go to the beach. I was actually being honest with him because I do go out less when I’m by myself for safety; but there is no point trying to explain this to an Italian male who adores his city, as they all seem to here! It is nice to see them so proud of where they live.
Ingenuo means naïve, but I put it in the feminine form because that is exactly what I am.
I love talking to people and I don’t get to talk to many genuine people here so I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I will always think that it is better to be too kind than to not be kind at all. So when I was revising in the park today and an old man of 70 sat next to me and asked about my work, I was happy to chat. Until he asked me to go back to his house and do strange things that I won’t specify. He said all this is Neapolitan for some reason so I had to ask him to repeat himself a lot; and I was really not expecting these advances from an older man. I don’t even mention the younger ones any more because we will have about 6 a day chatting us up, but this was particularly bizarre for me. Baffled, I replied “I have a boyfriend”, wondering if I’d understood correctly. But yes, he replied “I am married, so don’t worry, it’s fine!”. This city astounds me sometimes. But at least he wasn’t aggressive.
It is important to mention that these men being like this, even the non-aggressive ones, is not a compliment. It is really a comment on how they perceive Northern European and American girls, since they would never talk to a young Italian girl in this way.
Today I went to Rome which was AMAZING!!! I only managed to get there for a few hours, because I had booked a coach but the metro to get the station was an hour and twenty mins late (Naples…) so I had to buy a train ticket last minute. But woooow, the trains are nice in Italy! And it only takes one hour to get to Rome from Naples which is wonderful. Expensive but soooo worth it! I met Emilia again in the station and we managed to do every main tourist spot pretty much, in about 3 or 4 hours. It was so much fun and so nice to be away from the craziness of Naples! Even Rome was like a tranquil holiday island compared to its hustle and bustle.
Here are some pictures:
Today on the train a man was talking to me about Naples and he seemed really proud of his city so I lied and said it was perfect here, and we got talking about the language. He told me amusingly that there are three languages in Naples: Italian, Neapolitan and Gesture (gesto). He is not wrong! People have whole conversations with their hands here, more so than anywhere else I’ve been in Italy. I found a video to demonstrate this:
Urtare means “to bump” and I learnt this after experiencing first-hand the craziness of Neapolitan traffic. I know they are crazy; red lights mean absolutely nothing even if you are halfway through crossing a road, and one way systems have no significance whatsoever for a Naples driver in a rush, even taxis…
But today I was crossing a road at a zebra crossing with a large bunch of people and a car actually drove straight into me and bumped my leg. I had had a bad day trying to work out things for my course at the horrendously disorganized university, and I was not impressed with the selfishness of these drivers. It wasn’t a bad hit, just a bump thank goodness, but still, it is wearing fearing for your life every time you step outside a door!
This means strike. Today after Uni I was greeted by flares and armed police as the taxi drivers of Naples were striking and holding a protest down the main road by the university. I didn’t hang around to see why they were protesting as it was a very tense and scary atmosphere.
I don’t like looking at the news here any more, because people seem to be shot in the center every night.
Today I was waiting at the station and a man approached me asking for money. If you stand too still or even hesitate around the station you will be approached by someone. He was being aggressive about it, and I know that sadly most people who ask for money here just wait for you to get your purse out before they run off with it, so I said ‘no, sorry’. He persisted for a few more minutes, and then called me a “stronza cattiva” (stronza is a swear word for women and cattiva means evil) and walked off. I love giving to charity and people who need it in England, and I have always said the way to fight hate is kindness, but it is impossible here. I really don’t like Naples for that.
This means sunburn! I somehow managed to sunburn my eyelids today, which is a really bizarre feeling and I’m not quite sure how that happened but the rest of my face is okay. Naples is certainly hot; it has rained more than we thought it would but the pollution, dense population, crazy traffic and southern sunny location makes it a very warm place to be indeed! Somehow everyone except me is still wearing a coat…
Learning a course in another language will always be interesting, but I questioned I was even in the right class when my Modern History teacher was referring to Cinquecento, which means 500. Naturally, I thought he meant the year 500AD, but, of course, he meant the year 1500 instead.
Fra is Neapolitan for Fratello, or brother; kind of like we would say “bro” or something in English.
I learnt this from our two friends we met on the beach, and they are genuinely nice people who don’t have an ulterior motive when they talk to us. They told us we had been lucky to find two “angeli” like them!