Southern Italy can suck my balls {Italy, Part Two}

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Tuesday September 6th-Friday, September 9th // Erchie (Amalfi Coast), Italy

On Tuesday we took literally the worst bus ride of our entire lives. I could've murdered someone. Our Airbnb host dropped us off at the bus station in Sorrento and there was already a line forming for a bus that left in 30 minutes. Thankfully we weren't too deep into it and were able to get on and get seats. This proved to be very fucking lucky because they packed that bus hella full. They packed all the seats and then loaded people on standing in the aisle from front to back. And every single person on that bus was a douche bag tourist (except us). Like people in the aisles were leaning over people in the seats - leaning over and pressing their bodies against them to get a picture out the window. What the actual fuck? Someone tried to do that to me and I scowled and shoved them off of me. 

Here's my glorious photo take autonomously and respectfully:

The bus was only supposed to take an hour and 20 minutes.

It took two and a half hours because of traffic on this tiny little two lane road passing through the busiest seaside towns in the fucking world. And "two lane road" is a stretch. It was mostly one lane, but two-way traffic. So being on a big ass bus that was playing chicken with cars at every curve (and the road is curvy as shit) was so fucking weird. And there are no safety provisions in place whatsoever. So every 30 seconds when a bus would be rounding a curve, the only thing it could do was honk it's horn to warn any blind, oncoming traffic. It was fucking ridiculous. 

We finally got off and I was at an all time low. Since we got stuck in traffic we missed our connecting bus and had to wait an hour in this bullshit overcrowded awful Amalfi coast tourist town. 

But look at my boyfriend comforting the fuck out of me:

Finally we boarded our second bus and it dropped us off on the side of the highway. We hiked down the cliff and into Erchie where our Airbnb was. Our host was fucking weird. She was like, "I'll be down on the beach and if you can't find me there just ask around town - everyone knows me". But like....We don't know her. Or know what she looks like either because her Airbnb profile picture is some sunglass art. I was like.....the fuck? Fuck you. Come and check us in, bitch. You want us to walk around town with our luggage, in a city we're unfamiliar with full of people who speak a language that we don't and fucking "ask around"?

Shit no. 

Elizabeth and I waited outside the front door with all of the luggage while Kris walked around. He of course couldn't find her so we messaged her and then just waited for her to show up. She took us inside her house and showed us around but it turned out we weren't staying there, which was confusing. She walked us across the street to a two bedroom apartment.

Um, okay.

We were in one room and another Airbnb party had the other room. That was sort of fucking weird, but thankfully our roommate ended up being the best part of our time here. 

Here’s the view from our little balcony:

Erchie 2016
erchie 2016

And here’s us enjoying the beach:

Turns out Erchie is a town of 85 people, there's no ATM and everywhere accepts cash only. No grocery store either, just tiny mini markets full of - you guessed it - pasta and sauce. Fucking hell. 

Our hosts, who had seemed so amazing in their listing description and in reviews from past travelers, ended up being pompous, asshole, holier-than-thou hippie types.

You know the type.

They say in their listing several times how they are not a hotel and they make such a big deal out of it....but then the room you're renting isn't even in their house. So how are you not supposed to "treat it like a hotel"? It set such a weird precedent and made us feel like we were obligated to go over to their house so as not to seem like we were treating it like a hotel. Kris politely went to their house the first night, but he just said we were tired and were going to bed early. 

The second night they came up to our apartment saying they were going to get pizza in a neighboring town and were taking their boat if we wanted to come. Okay, seemed cool enough. We grabbed our stuff and ran down to the beach only to stand there waiting for 20 minutes while they just totally fucked off. 

erchie 2016

The boat ride was very cool though since it was at night, but it was cold as fuck and I was nervous about the ride back. Thankfully my boyfriend comforted me again. We walked up to the pizza place and it was really fucking weird because they had invited a bunch of their other Italian friends so they just all sat at one end of the table and talked to each other. In Italian. Like assholes.

 It was like they had just wanted to show off their boat and the fact that they knew the owners of the pizza place and had a bunch of friends. They couldn't have given less of a shit about us.

So we just had our own totally separate dinner at the other end of the table - thankfully our roommate, Cody, had come too and he was gay and hot and from South Africa so we had a great time with him. 

At one point there was a dog stopped in the road. There were two cars - one coming from each direction so the dog had headlights shining on it from both directions. And the dog stayed parked in the road, squatted and let out an amazing loose, large dog shit right there with the headlights shining on it. And it smelled so bad. And we were dining right on the side of that road. And every time a new car would drive by and drive over the shit it would reactivate the smell so I just wrapped my damn scarf around my face so I didn't puke. 

Meanwhile, Elizabeth was having an orgasmic pizza experience and kept making approving, sexual noises and it was really fucking hilarious. 

Cody said something about Kris' survival or Kris needing to drink or something like that because he said, "All I'm getting from these two chicks is pizza pizza pizza and ohmygawd DOG SHIT SMELL."

He was completely hilarious and really well traveled and well spoken so he had lots of fun stories. And once he had two glasses of wine, he opened up and then we opened up and really let our freak flags fly. It was fantastic. 

Then the check came and we passed over 5 euros for our one pizza and our host started muttering in Italian and made it so fucking awkward. We still have no idea what he was on about, but were figuring maybe it was something about not splitting the check evenly. But you know.... we had a 5 euro pizza and they had bottles of beer and appetizers and lots of pizza. 

So basically, fuck you. 

He walked off in a huff, but into a gelato shop so we got some too and again, stood off on our own. Elizabeth was licking her ice cream cone and somebody made a joke about that being her lesbian sex foreplay move, but then we were like we wait.....lesbians don't have dicks. And Cody was like, "Oh well - she's licking the strap on. That's what it is."

On the boat ride back, Kris and I were sitting on one end with Cody and I asked him what neighborhood in London he lived in (he's currently residing there). He said Clapham Common and then started to explain where it was and I said, "Oh, I know where that is. I had sex with a Canadian who I met on OkCupid and he lived in Clapham."

And Cody, without missing a beat, was like - "Of course you did. You found the other North American in Europe and you got busy with him."

That started us talking about OkCupid and how stupid it was. I said when I fucked that Canadian, OkCupid was the latest greatest thing because this was like 7 years ago. Kris piped up and said he still had his OkCupid account active and Cody asked why and Kris pointed to some fisherman on the rocks and said, "because I'm like those fisherman. I just like to keep a line out there. In case anything bites. In case anyone wants to send me a message."

And you know - he said it in his totally serious, this-is-perfectly-logical-why-are-you-looking-at-me-like-that Kris way. 

It was the best. 

Then I asked how old Cody was and he said 29.....he was worried about being almost 30 and I said, "Oh well I'm 31. Your 30s are great. I'm at my sexual peak!!" and he said, "Excuse me while I throw myself off this boat right now." Like - if I was the picture of one's sexual peak and that was what he had to look forward to he'd rather just die right now. I love him. 

erchie 2016

The next two days it rained so we were just sort of stuck inside. Our room was hella gay because it was three twin beds but they were more like cots you'd sleep on at camp so it wasn't like we wanted to hang out in there. But there was nowhere else to hang out and if you wanted to "go to the next town over" you either had to take a boat, or hike up and out of the town to the top of the cliff to either catch a cab, or stand on the side of the narrow highway waiting for an unreliable bus, or walk alongside the highway and risk your life. 

Here's us after we paid 5 euros a person to rent these chairs:

Him: That man took that snorkel and fucked off into the sea.  Her: Where is he?  Him: Exactly.

Him: That man took that snorkel and fucked off into the sea.

Her: Where is he?

Him: Exactly.

And got to use them for about 45 minutes before the rain and wind came:

We opted to stay home, squeeze into our twin bed and watch No Country for Old Men. 

We'd venture out for food and got hooked on these grilled sandwiches from a snack bar in the alley. It was fresh bread with melting cheese, fried pork and roasted red peppers. So delicious (especially with an individually sized bottle of prosecco):

One of the rainy nights we bought dried pasta and shitty sauce and made it in our apartment and Cody joined us:

He shared with us the most fantastic photos of all of these extremely gay parties he's been to - beautiful gay men in tiny speedos with their abs and their perfect hair and shit. It was glorious. 

The conversation was so nice, too. He told us how there are tribes in South Africa where circumcision is part of the ceremony of becoming a man. So when a boy is 18 he's literally sent into "the bush" for 6 weeks of wilderness time with other men. A few days in they are circumcised just right out there in the fucking woods and basically spend the rest of the time healing. Some of them die from the conditions under which their cocks were sliced up and the ones who don't - they emerge from the bush after the six weeks and are deemed actual full blown men. Fucked up, right? Since there's not much anyone can do about changing their minds or their traditions, they are at least trying to properly train the bush doctors to perform the circumcisions properly and under sanitary conditions so less people die from dumbass infections. 

Then we talked about The Gays and how sad it is because essentially they are seen as not real men, so they have to constantly prove their worth. They have to look amazing, be in incredible shape, be super funny and smart because they're already seen at at a lower rank than strait men. We talked about everything like that - being gay, being a woman, being black, being polyamorous and on the one hand the prejudices that exist suck, but on the other hand people using that as an excuse also sucks and gets everyone nowhere. Like a gay man might go on a job interview and not get it and be like, "Oh they didn't hire me because I'm gay". Ok, sure, maybe. But what if you were just under qualified and there was someone better? And if that someone better happens to be a strait man, you're going to say that's the reason. Or like when polyamorous couples break up and everyone is like, "Well - they were polyamorous. What did you expect?" And it's like - they didn't break up because they were poly. They broke up for normal, run of the mill incompatibility reasons like every other relationship that has ever ended. 

That night too Cody thankfully informed us that we could not buy tickets from the bus driver in the morning on our way out of town, we had to procure them in advance. We had bought them on the spot in Sorrento so we just figured we could do that again. Kris messaged our Airbnb host to see if they had tickets we could buy from them and they did, but it was not without a healthy dose of condescension. Like the host actually wrote back and quoted Kris by saying, "You just found out?" And then was like -  "You cannot buy a ticket from the driver on any bus in Amalfi". Like, ok bitch - again. How the fuck would we know this as foreign tourists who have literally never been here before. It was just unnecessary cunty-ness

Friday morning we went downstairs for coffee:

And then packed our shit and hiked up to the top of the hill to wait on the narrow highway for the damn bus.

And it was hella packed and we had to stand and it fucking sucked! But it was a way shorter ride because we were going in a different direction than when we arrived. So it was only about a 30 minute hell ride. 

erchie 2016

We got off the bus and walked over to the train station where we caught the first of 4 trains we had to take that day. Our first train was delayed but thankfully we did not miss our connection and we arrived in Manarola (a tiny coastal town in Northern Italy) dirty, gross and tired, but totally in one piece. 

Needless to say, Southern Italy sucked our fucking balls and we will literally never go there again. It was just ghetto and touristy in a bad way - with shitty food and people trying to milk the tourists and it was just dirtier and the people weren't as cool and just overall ick ick ick. I do not get the popularity of that part of the world AT ALL. Northern Italy is oh so much cooler with better people, better food, way more class, and arguably more beautiful beach front.