Shit happens. It happens to good people, it happens to bad people. I’ve had a consistent amount of shit happens moments the past two weeks, that I’m not even surprised anymore. The main thing is it can happen often, it can happen multiple times in one day, but you’ve just got to stick it through. That’s what travel and the backpacking lifestyle is all about.
My time in Naples was, to put it bluntly, a catastrophe. It started with me missing my bus from Milan to Naples due to Flixbus not parking the bus for boarding in the correct location, but that is another story for other day. The following day I finally set off for Naples on a 10hr journey by bus and arrived at 11pm to meet my Couchsurfing host. This is where I started to feel things were slightly strange. This is where I will always say, and I mean ALWAYS, trust your gut instinct.
Let’s call my host, The Italian. The Italian seemed kind and had a lovely home once we arrive, but the neighbourhood was rough, rougher than Penrith! His home was nowhere near Naples as he had previously mentioned for me to agree to stay with him. It was a 40 minute train journey and then a 15 minute walk to his home. I would have been better to pay for accommodation in Naples instead to avoid such an effort into unknown territory.
The Italians home is clean and modern and I was to sleep on the couch as is the way with Couchsurfing, but it became uncomfortable when that evening, although it was already late, he started walking around in his underwear and the following morning he did the same. I understand I am in his home, but this seemed inappropriate with someone you’ve never met before. I mean these weren’t boxers or briefs, they were budgie smugglers and tight…
He then proceeded to tell me that with his work I needed to be out of the house at 8.30am the next morning and couldn’t return until 8.30pm, something that also wasn’t previously mentioned prior to my agreeing to stay with him, but I accepted his conditions. With not many plans for Naples, I set off for the day bright and early to discover that Naples is one of the dirtiest and unkind cities I have ever traveled to. There are few sites to see and most are unclean, full of rude and abusive people. The city smells and it is difficult to locate wifi if wanting to seek refuge and research any travel related plans.
(Weird snail art at Piazza Garibaldi – Most interesting part of Naples)
After hanging around this dirty town for most of the day I was grateful I had remembered to bring my kindle along with me and chose to read for a number of hours on the steps of the monument in the image featured at the beginning of my story. In my gut I knew that it didn’t feel like a good choice to remain at The Italians home longer than a second night and booked accommodation once wifi was finally found so I could directly go to Positano the following day. I was looking to finally forgetting my troubles from the previous 2 weeks at camp and having a blissful holiday to look forward to. What I didn’t know was that my last night in Naples wouldn’t be so simple.
I arrived back to The Italians home at 8.30pm for him to arrive after me at 9pm. He suggested we cook dinner together which I thought was a nice thing to do for my last night, but was still cautious and notified him I would be leaving the following morning. He seemed disappointed and wanted to tell me to change my plans to go to Positano and how he knew a better way to get there each day from his home, but I said my accommodation had already been booked and I wouldn’t be able to change it.
After dinner and washing my hair I was ready for sleep after a long day and already having the flu I wasn’t feeling great. The Italian kept hanging around the door frame where I was drying my hair and watching me, but I reiterated I would be going to sleep once I was done – nothing more would be happening that night. The Italian then suddenly said his grandfather had just died and I had to leave his home. It was 11.30pm and I had nowhere to go.
After stressing to him how late it was and that there were no trains to go back to Naples, he called his friend to say I had to stay with him. Reluctantly, but with no other option I decided to go to this friends home that was nearby, only to find how dirty and unkempt it was. I had to wait for 1hr for him to return to the home so I sat anxiously and at 1am when he finally came back so that I could go to sleep, I requested a blanket, to which he replied “why do you need a blanket are you cold or something?” Immediately I knew I wasn’t welcome here.
I kept my backpack close and slept with my trainers on in case of if I had to run for the hills, literally. The following morning I packed up quick and left early for the train station to return to Naples. The thing to know about Italy is that trains don’t run frequently, nor are they reliable, so it was just the icing on the cake when I found out my train to Naples Garabaldi had suddenly changed direction causing a further 1 hour delay. Everyone on board was pissed…
It took 2 hours to get from Marigliano to Naples and although it was not ideal, it is a situation I have learned from and realise I can be resourceful at any moment if necessary. Backpacking is just mind over matter. After finally arriving to Naples, I located a train to Sorrento and then the journey began to my luxurious holiday in Positano that I had been counting down the days for months until I could finally step foot into this gorgeous town.
Learn from me and don’t go to Naples. It’s not worth your time, money or the hassle. If you do think you’d like to check out the city, I’d suggest just a quick day trip and not an extensive stay.
♥ Love from Leah