[heinrich&satva]

The next day, Angie and I decided to make the trip to beautiful city of Amalfi. The bus was running a bit late so we ended up getting into Amalfi around 230pm or so. I was pretty proud that I actually figured out the bus timetable [for the record].

Our first stop when we got to town was the Grotto del Smerelda, or the Emerald Cave [I think?]. We paid 15 Euros to ride a  boat to a cave and then take another boat around the inside of the cave. The grotto itself was actually really small, circumference-wise, maybe about 40-50 feet around?

When we got off the first boat and headed towards the cave, [for you visual folks who like details like me, Angie and I were wearing our sunglasI ses off the boat because, duh, it was bright out] one of the men workers slightly bowed his head, gave a big smile to Angie and said, ” Konnichi Wa!” I couldn’t help but laugh because this man thought Angie was Asian. Maybe I rubbed off on her. Welcome to my life of Asian stereotrypes.

When I stepped onto the second boat, the boat guide seemed to be quite enamored with me. Of course he asked me where I was from. And, as usual, I told him the United States…and then Taiwan. He insisted that Angie and I sit in the front row, right in front of him…for the best view. I couldn’t tell if he meant for us or for him. :\ He mumbled some fun facts about the grotto but spent most of his time serenading me…with his made up song about America, Texas, Los Angeles, beautiful girls, and Asian girls. It was…nice? Made for a good story, anyway. I can’t make this up, people!

IMG_3521

After the boat show, Angie and I cooled down with some amazing frozen Amalfi lemonade and fresh strawberries. It was delicioussss!

We walked up the main street and took as many pictures of Amalfi as we could. Here’s just a couple:

IMG_3520IMG_3519

I couldn’t find the name of this church but it was absolutely beautiful. I was just blown away when we reached the main piazza. I loved this church.
IMG_3522

Eventually, we found our way to a highly recommended local pizzeria. We each had pizza [four cheese for me & artichokes with something vegetables for Angie] and chatted about life, friends, and love over a nice bottle of wine.

Suddenly, I remembered that the last bus back to Agerola was at 9pm. It was already 805pm. Eeek! We didn’t want to risk anything so we paid our bill and began walking back to the bus station. We ate some gelato and used the free café WiFi for 45 minutes. Patiently waiting to board the bus, we kept asking the workers, “L’autobus Agerola??” “9 o’clock!” They would say to us. So we waited. And waited. And asked again. And waited..The third or fourth time we went up, it was 855pm. Same answer. Right at 901pm, I decided to ask again.

As I walked up to one of the bus drivers, one of the busses just pulled out onto the main road. I had a sinking feeling that I should have run after the bus. I don’t know why, but in my heart, I just felt like I should have been on that bus. With my luck, I figured, that would happen to me.  I shook it off. My luck’s changed, right? I’m with Angie. And it just turned to 901pm. The busses are never on time. I asked the same guy, “Agerola?” He pointed to the bus now rounding the corner. He said he was sorry. It was the last bus up to Agerola.

Sorry? Excuse me. You’re sorry? That’s it? You thought it was great making jokes about eating our leftover pizza but it didn’t seem fair to let us know when the bus was boarding? UGHHH. I was so irritated. I didn’t know how else to react. Honestly. I was crushed..and I just didn’t know who else to blame but myself.

Together, Angie and I had 20E with us, a box of now-cold, leftover pizza, and 22km of night-walking up a mountainside if we wanted to get back to Agerola. I felt like someone just kicked me in the stomach. I don’t understand how this could have happened. We were 45 minutes early, for crying out loud. None of the busses said Agerola in the banner. We repeatedly asked all the workers for the Agerola bus. Did they just misunderstand us?

We tried talking to some of the taxi drivers. A taxi to Agerola was upwards of 80E or 100E. No way. No. freaking way. That’s like 150 USD! I’d rather walk.

With no other alternatives, we used to last of my SIM card minutes [and cell phone battery] to phone Heinrich, our BnB host. I, admittedly, got a bit flustered because I couldn’t properly explain our predicament to him in English words that he understood so I handed the phone to Angie who was able to talk to him in Spanish. After a couple phone calls and failed alternatives, Heinrich said he would empty his car and come pick us up in 2 hours, or around 1130pm. We were so grateful. We were so lucky to have such a kind kind host.

But. I was still holding on to the missed bus fiasco. I don’t know why I couldn’t just be happy that everything worked out. I was silent as Angie and I walked up the main road while we killed 2 hours.

When we made it back to the main piazza, we were welcomed to a free classical piano concert by someone I don’t know [Angie took a picture of the banner]. The music was great. It made me want to start listening to more classical music. It was good to just lose myself in the music [thanks, Eminem] and brood over the bus thing some more. Angie nudged me.

“Friend. Everything’s fine. Everything’s going to work out. Stop being so grumpy.”
I looked at her and raised my eyebrows helplessly, embarrassed that we had to inconvenience our hosts on their day off.
“We’re in Italy. In Amalfi. With beautiful weather. On a perfect night. Listening to amazing music.”
She was right. I guess. Amalfi won me over with its charm and restaurants. And the way the mountain lit up at night…well, it wasn’t so bad after all. The woman had a good point.

IMG_3518

We headed back down to the bus station to wait for Heinrich, we didn’t want to take any more chances. Especially since both our phone officially died. Heinrich picked us up exactly at 1130pm. We snaked our way back up the mountain, Angie talking to Heinrich and his friend in Spanish while I listened. When we got back to the apartment, Angie and I insisted on paying Heinrich and Satva for the inconvenience.

Of course they refused. “Come on, you are friends. Don’t worry about it,” they said.

Aside from the BnB, Heinrich and Satva are artisans that make jewelry and art and little, we’ll call it, games to sell at different festivals and carnivals around Italy. So, since they wouldn’t accept our money, we decided to buy a couple leather bracelets that they made. We all stayed up another hour or so just chatting about differences/similarities in our two countries’ politics, education, housing markets and healthcare. It was really interesting and I welcomed the discussion…but we called it a night around 2am.

The next morning, we had leftover pizza for breakfast [which, by the way, is something Italians NEVER do. It’s like eating cold spaghetti and meatballs for breakfast – no one does it] and headed out to catch the bus to Naples.

All in all, Amalfi was great. Despite that minor mishap. Heinrich and Satva were so unbelievably nice and welcoming. I’m sad we didn’t get a picture with them…but, I do have my leather bracelet to always remember them fondly.

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s