Traveling with a GPS did not deter me from getting lost.
For example the airbnb that I had decided to stay at in Genoa turned out to be in a sketch part of town and the airbnb host was oddly slow to give his address. I quickly decided that I needed to find a new place. Luckily, Alessandro’s friend offered to let me stay at his apartment where there were two extra rooms. Detour number 1.
The evening turned quickly from one disappointment to a pleasant surprise when we sat down for aperetivis. Bogliasco, a small town about 10km from Genova, looked exactly as one would imagine Italian summer getaway spots to appear in movies—rocky shores with blue foam and colorful pastel buildings with charming cracks, and crispy white shirts and sailing sweaters around the neck. (See pic.) The view at dinner was spectacular.
After dinner, Alessandro's friend (yeah- he's got a name, but i'll leave a little anonymity so as not to embarrass anyone. I'll call him il ragazzo, most suited for him.) thought it would be funny to walk down to the cove and smooch, but I couldn't bare the thought. As a means to quelling this boorish boy's fantasies of kissing an American girl, I allowed him to peck me on the lips for a second and no more. Then his scherzandi of sleeping in the same bed started to make me uncomfortable. My patience for il ragazzo was wearing on me. He had the manners of a junior high kid, gauche at best in discussing salary differences in the first 5 minutes of conversation and eating all the food in front of us without asking if I'd like some. Detour number 2.
In the midst of all my judging and being rude, I thought that perhaps I could "help" out this ragazzo with a few lady tips. I realized that he was probably acting the way he was because he was nervous! Perhaps I intimidated him too much, and he didn’t have a clue as to how to respond without yapping like a Pomeranian. After I told him that I would get arrabiata if he kept joking about us sleeping together, he kept on and my "would" turned into "got." Detour number 3.
My impatience and rashness getting the best of me, I decided to drive to Milan and hotel it there, but fate somehow knew that my goal yesterday was not to spend any more impulsive money. The autostrade to get out of the city was closed for maintenance. Detour number 4.
This was an echo from earlier in the day when I found out the trail from Monteroosso to Vernazza was closed for maintenance, unfortunately Detour number 00.) So, I took this to be a sign that I needed to swallow my pride and take il ragazzo's apologetic plea to stay at his home. After driving around for 30 minutes trying to find a new route back to Milan, I decided to stay in Genova. Detour number 5.
It was a good decision too because not only did I save $150 to rest my head for a few hours, I got schooled some.
Il regazzo, with his crude mannerisms made me see that one can never underestimate the power of hospitality. I hope our place in NY (me and Nov's) will be a place friends (new and old) call their second home.
Though my time in Italy this time around has been nothing short of la dolce vita, there was something missing. Aster. Call me kookie or a California spirit junkie, but I am almost certain that Aster was with me in spirit during my journeys yesterday. Her spirit kept calling to me, reminding me to just go with the flow and make sure everyone has fun. Aster, I know you're probably learning how to levitate and read minds right now, so if you can hear me, know that I miss you dearly.
So as I get ready to meet Luigi for the third time, my intention will be to have fun having fun. Remain open-hearted and free.
Thank you il regazzo for your hospitality. Though it was probably misguided to think that there would be bed "companionship,” I do thank you for putting in the effort, as that is all that one can ask.
Hai arrivato alla tua destinazione.