far too much writing, far too many photos

Last Friday morning, real damn early: dragged my sorry ass out the door, grabbed a taxi to the airport. Checked in before most travelers had finished sucking down their first shot of caffeine, made it through security, sat at an empty gate staring at the gray world outside, watching light rain alternate with light snow. Eventually found myself in a smallish, half-empty passenger plane flying across the northern Mediterranean, en route to Naples.

Clouds thinned some along the way, but did not clear completely. When the plane dropped down over the city, sun showers fell, a huge, sprawling metropolis spread out below — visibly old, tired, rundown. And densely populated. Even I could see that from up above, skidding across the sky — a tired, dog-eared city, home to an unnervingly high number of souls, all packed together in a way that would make anyone edgy, uneasy.

The first surprise after touching down: luggage made it from the plane to baggage claim instantaneously. I don’t know how they did that, but it was impressive. No waiting. All I had to do was find my way from plane to terminal.

Wandered from there to an information desk, an exceptionally energetic woman told me where to find the bus to the city center, sold me an inexpensive ticket, sent me on my way. Found myself on a packed bus soon after, and when I say packed that is exactly what I mean. Crammed with people, with a notable under-abundance of seats, leaving many humans standing between mounds of bags, holding on for dear life as the driver navigated hideous traffic into the city. (I have no idea, in all seriousness, how that driver threaded that vehicle through those narrow streets, choked with traffic as they were. Whatever he gets paid, it’s not enough.)

[continued in following entry]

EspaƱa, te amo

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