08 May 2014

from napoli to sorrento on the circumvesuviana

The train is a rickety metal contraption, perhaps from the 1970s. On it is a mixture of people: tourists with cameras slung around their neck, locals on their daily commute to the next town, workers lugging huge carts loaded with bags of produce. 

Italian is an emotional, expressive language, as proven by the loud chatter that fills the carriage. Across me, a gold-ringed aviator-shaded men sits, his shirt unbuttoned halfway down his chest, showcasing his bountiful treasure of thick chest hair. It would be borderline humorous and creepy, if not for the gentle care he gave his son, who seemed to be suffering from a stomachache. He seemed a good father, and that was enough.

A five-year old boy alights at Pompeii, busking for coins with his little accordion. He can barely belt out a tune, but he is so adorable he earns a few coins from the passengers. Then it's a group of buskers that hop on the train, playing a jazzed-up version of the lambada. It incites the very gay group of Italian teeneagers next to me to start gyrating on the train's railings and dancing in the aisles. Their spirit is contagious, and pretty soon everyone is smiling and bopping their head to the beat of the drums.

And then the laundry-festooned buildings give way to the views of Mount Vesuvius, and finally to the sea.

We have reached Sorrento.

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