It’s one thing to catch an international flight to a foreign city and remain there, only to navigate within it. It is a much more complicated activity to travel within a foreign country when the farther you stray away from a largely tourist and populated city, the more the language barrier becomes an issue. The little Italian that we knew, and the even littler English than the Italians knew, we managed to travel by express train to Naples and then take a train to the last stop at Sorrento. We got on the wrong train at first and almost missed our transfer which would have placed us farther into Naples territory, with no sense of geography and the absence of any cell phone service; luckily an Italian assisted us with hand gestures and broken English which resulted in us reaching our final destination.
Sorrento in winter is absolutely serene. I loved the silence of this place. Rome is total chaos. The first thing I noticed in the streets of Sorrento was nothingness. Pure bliss. No street peddlers. No hectic crosswalks. No noise. It was a much needed release from the big city, needless to say I did somewhat miss the chaotic nature of Roma. However, Sorrento was now our time to unwind. As I opened the door to our apartment, I near fainted at how pristinely well kept it was; accompanied with an overlooking view of the ocean. We stayed Friday to Sunday. We both absolutely adore dressing up to go out fine dining for the evening, and we did just that both nights of the weekend, catching a live music show on Friday at one of the restaurants (who happened to play some American classics). We were his number one fans and he loved it. We tipped him well. I’ve noticed that Italian natives don’t expect tips, but that they strongly appreciate it when it occurs, because I can speculate that it appears as rare generosity.
I am confident that Italian food is by far the best on Earth, and we have not had more fun or been more happy than when dining out in Italy. I will miss that dearly. It hasn’t been the same since coming back to the US. There is such a greater appreciation for food in Italy, I sincerely envy that aspect of their culture.
To conclude our weekend trip, we took a little ride up through the cloud engulfed mountains and along the notorious Amalfi Coast to a little town called Positano. A series of events unfolded that I think may have changed my life forever.
This place was a dream. When I reminisce about it I have a hard time accepting that I was actually there. We wandered through the barren streets and stopped at the only cafe open in town. It was filled with loud men yelling at the futbol game on TV, and I naturally joined in. I think all cultures appreciate the competition and camaraderie of sporting events.
We went to dinner and found ourselves in conversation with an older American couple of attorneys who resided in Positano due to their assignment from the Navy. We talked for a while about law and careers, since we are about to graduate college and they have well developed career advice. An intense rain storm then hit the coastline.
We got caught up in conversation and eventually had to quickly run up the hill to catch our bus back to Sorrento. As we embarked back up the hill, I stalled us for only a moment because I wanted his contact information, since I plan to pursue a career in law. We decided against it and it ended up causing us to miss our bus back to Sorrento, which we missed by the smallest sliver of time possible. We were caught in the middle of this rainstorm for a good couple hours before the next bus came. I was momentarily furious that I not only ruined by chance of getting contact information in the legal field, but also that my hesitation to do so caused us to missed our bus, which put us in jeopardy of missing our train back to Rome. I composed myself and waited patiently in the rainfall.
This is a picture of the storm that hit moments before we went to dinner and then ascended the hill.
Upon waiting for the bus, thinking about life and wondering why the events had just occurred as they did, an elderly Chinese couple approached us at the bus stop. They had missed the same bus as us. I talked to the man for a while, Minzhi, about life and traveling. He then went on long tangent about how everyone thinks he is a doctor, or engineer, or politician, because of his Chinese heritage; when in fact he is a renowned attorney with an established law firm in California (bafflingly close to the same future I want to build for myself).
Ultimately, we talked for a while about why I want to be a lawyer and how he became successful. Without my request, he offered me his business card and said, “If you want to be a successful attorney, you must be extremely personable, and view every friend you have as a potential client. Be as genuine as you can be.”
When you doubt yourself or things don’t seem to be going your way; stay positive and keep doin’ your thing; the universe graciously sprinkles miracles upon you when you least expect it.