I woke up in Mondragone around 9, with a Polish woman who spoke no English or Italian bustling around me. Groggy eyed, I tried to explain why I was there while simultaneously coming to and accepting my surroundings. I have gotten pretty used to the feeling of waking up in an unfamiliar place...but waking up on a beach chair in an enormous dirty garage with old circus type equipment and a car that looked like it has been bombed still always gets me. Eventually I got up and went into the main beach cafe thing and got a bite to eat and charged my phone. The woman working the counter gave me a token for the shower and I quickly rinsed myself off before heading back into the center of town. I bought some credit for my cell phone and had a woman help me out with adding the minutes before hitting the road towards Napoli.
People had told me that Mondragone was sketchy...and people in Mondragone told me that Napoli was sketchy, so I didn't really know what to expect. People kept telling me to "not stop" on the way to Napoli. It was a long run, and I definitely stopped a couple times to get some water. I took the whole thing pretty slow and easy in general. The run never really seemed dangerous at all...except for the usual crazy Italian drivers and high speed roads with no place for me.
When I got to the edge of Napoli I was wiped. I stopped in a grocery store and got something to eat and drink and then ended up walking the rest of the way to Dave's apartment, a guy who I met through couchsurfing.
I had to wait a couple hours or so for Dave to get home, so I killed some time by stretching and then heading to a nearby pub for a very good beer. Dave called me just as I left the pub, and I met him around 8 at his apartment. Dave is a U.S. Marine, which naturally makes him a few times more bad**s than a normal person, so I didn't have to worry much about my stay in Napoli not being awesome.
After I took a shower we headed out to meet Dave's friend Fergus and then hit the town to get some drinks. I had a great night talking to random Italian students, drinking and eating...and around three in the morning we took a cab back home and I fell asleep in an incredibly comfortable bed in an air conditioned apartment as my change of clothes spun around in the washing machine.
30 August 2009