Gloomy beginnings, warm endings

November 6th, 2008 by scott and becky

The day has been gloomy and wet. This is the first real rain (beyond the 30 minutes our first night tenting) that we have seen since arriving in Italy. We awoke to thunderstorms, heavy rain, and strong winds. Fortunately, it did clear up for a little while in the afternoon, such that we did not need wet weather gear to get to the ferry.

After hearing about the loss of our mascot, Maurizio gave us a Canadian Moose. He figured it was time that the moose returned home. We have adopted the new mascot and named him Moe (Moe the Moose).

Purchasing the ferry tickets was pretty painless. We went to one of the many travel agents in town that advertise the Greece ferries. It was not open when we first arrived at 3:25 pm, but by 3:40 siesta time was over and the agent returned. We considered getting a cabin, but the 110 Euro premium was a fair bit more than we were willing to pay. After the ship departed, we asked about cabins and were given a 4-birth cabin for a grand total of 26 Euro! A much better deal than reserving the cabin in advance. We are certain that would not have been an option during the busy summer months, but at the moment, the ship has mostly truck drivers and a few backpackers.

Becky reflects on the events of yesterday:

When I think of my stolen bag, I think of the waste. The person who took it likely just grabbed the wallet and camera and threw the rest of the stuff away. It is that “rest of the stuff” that I want back the most. I am sad thinking of Puffie all alone in a dark alley somewhere. Replacing the bag itself will be a challenge, as it was one of a two piece set. A replacement is guaranteed not to match – which breaks the symmetry of the bike. It won’t actually affect the way the bike rides, it is more a visual thing than anything else. Again, it is most annoying because the person who took it has most likely just thrown it away.

In Italy, everyone lives behind a fence. The fences are more about claiming your space then they are about security. In many cases, people leave the gates open all day, but the gates are always there. In many cases, the fences are solid walls. Add to this, that garbage is often strewn everywhere. There does not seem to be an organization that cleans the streets and people do not usually clean the areas outside of their fences. Land that is commercial is often much more cluttered than residential land. It seems that no one cares enough to clean the mess. A bag could easily be thrown over a fence into a pile of garbage, never to noticed again. A part of me hopes a good Samaritan will find the bag and think to return it somewhere, but from what I have seen of Southern Italy I do not have any faith of that actually occurring. People just don’t appear to care enough about others such that the concept of returning a lost item would not even be considered.

In the end, I am very glad I had removed much of the stuff that was normally in the bag in anticipation of the ferry trip. I am also glad that we are finally leaving Italy – two and a half weeks has been enough. I have found that in general the people of Italy have been reserved to the point of unfriendliness. People often stare at us while riding our bikes, but would not return a smile. There are always exceptions, and it is the exceptions that have made riding in Italy pleasant – that and the friendly drivers. At least once an hour, someone would honk, wave or give us a thumbs-up from a passing car. In reflection, we note that the reaction is opposite that of what we found in North America, where people on foot always shared a smile but people in cars were often reserved. We have met some friendly people in our time in Italy, but we did not find the culture in Italy welcoming. We are looking forward to some famous Middle Eastern hospitality.

A Puffie Memoir

A Puffie Memoir

One Response to “Gloomy beginnings, warm endings”

  1. Brett/Skip Says:

    I found it interesting that when I read your post in Gmail this “Wallet Test” was displayed in the Google Adwords space:

    http://www.wallettest.com/Lost_Wallet_Test/Results_Page.html

    Brett

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