Sometimes, you learn on the fly.
We paid our admission into Pompeii and were handed a head set and a map of the excavation for our self guided tour. Just as we’re about to go beyond the entrance we see it’s mandatory to check our bags. Any and all bags – purses, handbags, bags under your eyes, they all must be left there. We discussed this for a moment. Our lives are in our packs. Passports, cash, and everything else we need to survive. We decided we had too much to lose. Going against the flow of humanity, Dianne and i backtracked to the ticket booth to see about a refund. We got one easily enough. Saying the girl in the booth was stunned that we weren’t going in is an understatement. I suppose not many people show up at the gates at Pompeii and turn around but we did. That’s how we roll. Next time we’ll leave our bags somewhere else.
Outside looking in.
So we wouldn’t get to see the dead people, the forum, the villas, the baths, the virtually intact buildings inscribed with the advertisements of the day (Make Pompei Great Again and Vote For Flavius!).
It all happened so fast, people died in their tracks.
As a consolation prize, we walked along the the fenced perimetre where you can see some interesting things nonetheless. Although we returned the head sets, we did get to keep the map. An unused map of Pompeii that is mocking us. In fact I can hear it now from the closet: Make Pompei Great Again and Vote For Flavius!
Late afternoon as the train rumbled into the Pompeii station, we paid the small fare and hurried to catch the next ride into Naples, 30 minutes away or so. We were rushing for the train and didn’t ever think of validating our tickets. And you must put your ticket through a validating machine before boarding. When we arrived at Napoli Centrale, a sweaty overzealous security man with a cap asked to see our tickets. Then he had a meltdown. His eyes popped out of his head, his face turned beet red. Smoke came out of his ears. The guy was losing it. He had one thing to say. Probably the only English word he knew: Pee-nahl-tee. PEE-NAHL-TEE!! It’s all he could say. And he said it – no, he yelled it – over and over, pointing at our unvalidated tickets.
I couldn’t understand what he was saying exactly, but by his tone of voice i knew he wasn’t inviting us over for tea and crumpets. PEE-NAHL-TEE!! He really tore into us, showing off for the rush hour crowd no doubt. One of his milder co-workers tried to soften him up, telling Attila here to let us off the hook since we’re obviously stupid but didn’t mean to do any harm and….. But NO! Attila was having none of that. PEE-NAHL-TEE, PEE-NAHL-TEE!! And he did indeed give us a pee-nahl-tee. A fifty Euro pee-nahl-tee. Payable in cash. Right now. To my surprise, he actually issued a receipt as opposed to pocketing the money.
It’s a nice souvenir.
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Dianne & Mike