Thursday, June 13, 2013

Luck of the Italians

   I used to not believe in bad luck, but it seems that bad luck has decided to join our group during this trip. During our various adventures, we have run into some not so great circumstances, but we have always overcome it and made the best of every occurrence (and have had a great/fun time doing it!). 

Incident #1: Molly’s lost suitcase- (June 8, 2013) Of course, being a group of nine girls and one boy, this problem was an easy (and fun) fix. Retail therapy always makes girls happy (not to mention Molly needed some clothes…). A group of us headed into Sorrento to find Molly an outfit and bathing suit to wear for the next day’s activities. After roaming the Sorrento streets, taking a break for drinks, and visiting a plethora of stores, she finally had clothes for the next day. (Her suitcase arrived the next morning J)

Incident #2: Amalfi Coast- (June 9, 2013)  What we thought would be an easy and peaceful trip down to the Amalfi coast turned out to be a bit more bumpy than we thought. The Italian public transportation system can be described in two words: inefficient and chaotic. After purchasing our round-trip bus tickets, we waited in the long line filled with sweaty, grouchy people. Of course, by the time we are at the front of the line, all the seats on the bus had been taken. We agreed to stand in the aisle of the bus to our destination, which we thought would take half of the time it actually did. We finally arrived and had a delicious Italian lunch, did some sightseeing and shopping, and visited the beautiful beach.  After our amazing day, we decided to catch the 4:00pm bus back in order to go to mass at the local church back in Sorrento. 10 minutes before 4:00- bus wasn’t there. At this point, there is a small crowd where the busses pick up. 4:00- no bus. 4:15- no bus. Now there is a pretty big crowd trying to figure out where the bus is. 4:30- bus is still MIA. 4:45- still no bus. Because the bus was late, there was a huge crowd waiting for the bus back to Sorrento. So the bus arrived around 5, so at this point we know we are not going to make it back in time to go to church.  The bus door opens and the crowd literally stampeded towards the open door in order to get a seat on the bus. There were definitely white haired men and women throwing elbows in order to get to the front of the line, no joke. I luckily pushed myself up to the front of the line and got a seat and saved one for Emily. This bus was literally like sardines, not exaggerating at all.  After witnessing yelling, unhappy Italian men and women quarrelling with the bus driver, the bus finally started on its journey back to Sorrento.  Even though the bus was jam packed, the bus driver still thought it would be a good idea to try and let people on from the various stops on the way to Sorrento. Wrong decision. So the bus stops, somehow more people squished on, and some lady at the front of the bus became very, very unhappy. Long story short; the bus driver was so aggravated he got off the bus (we are on a one lane road on the side of a cliff..) and took a 30 minute smoke break. Of course this little break caused a traffic jam behind us, resulting in cars going both ways on the road using the opposite lane, pure chaos and a tad bit scary. Passengers on the bus were pounding on the bus windows and yelling in Italian, which none of us can really understand. All in all, it was a very interesting experience that I’m sure none of us will forget.

Incident #3: Pompeii- (June 11, 2013) Strikes are no fun. Especially when there is a strike in Pompeii the day you’re supposed to go see the ruins. The strike was supposed to take place from 8:30am-11:00am but Italian time is sadly not the same as American time. 11:00- gates were closed, crowd was pretty large. 11:15- gates were still closed, crowd increased and started to rattle the gate and yelling. Around 11:20 we are told that they “may” open the gates to the ruins at 12. Because we had a train to catch, the strike prevented us from seeing the ruins of Pompeii L We had a great lunch and took the train to Naples. Our train journey and transfers were a bit bumpy, but we safely made it to Castiglion Fiorentino!

-Taylor R.

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