Sunday, August 9, 2015

Thursday continues--Hobby Shops and Trash Picking

I really thought that Bob was kidding when he was researching hobby shops in Naples before we left.  I mean, really?  We go all that way, with all those things to see, and you want to check out a hobby store?

But Dane had gotten (or been given) a model rocket, and they needed materials to build it (hobby knife, sandpaper, plastic glue, paint).  Bob looked at it and said "you know where you can get all this?  A hobby shop."

So after the necropolis we headed back to narrow roads crazy traffic anything goes downtown Naples.  I crawled under the back seat and drooled on  myself just a little.  But sure enough--Bob spotted the shop.

And in the world of plastic models there is no language barrier (helps that the shop owner spoke English until Bob would say something like "1/72nd scale after market parts for . . . . . "  at that point, even though I do speak English, it just sort of degenerates into random sounds for me.  But model speak is universal, and he bought a few items for himself, and the stuff that Dane needed for the rocket.

Then it was time to indulge in Amanda's hobby: the search for the demijohn.  Farmers have to give a certain amount of their grape harvest for the "community wine"--apparently you just take bottles and go get it. (As a connoisseur of cheap wine, I would have liked to try some of this.  But Amanda and Robert don't drink so didn't have it around.  Besides, in the heat it would have laid me out.  Note to self: go back in the winter to drink wine.  But I digress).   Cheap wine comes in rather nice glass demijohns, and Amanda has been collecting them. 

The trick is not to go out and buy them--that would be too easy, and where's the challenge?  The idea is to make it a quest--to go on the search.  When people are done drinking the wine, they just throw the bottles away.  And the easiest way to throw them away is to toss them on the side of the road ("Keep Naples Beautiful" is a fairly recent idea that hasn't taken hold yet).  So her idea of fun is to just drive around the back roads out to the farming areas and scope out the trash in the ditches to see if she can spot a treasured bottle. Then she jumps out and grabs it while keeping an eye out for the farmer's dog.
 Now these are narrow rutted dirt roads only about as wide as the car--but I was fine with that.  I just don't like the idea of scraping buildings or other cars--getting stuck in the mud is something I can deal with (fortunately there was no getting stuck today although at one point we had to do a 14-point turn when the road ceased to exist)
One thing we had noticed almost immediately in Naples was that anywhere there was a bit of spare land, there was a crop.  Like the areas around overpasses.  Sides of highways.  The volcanic soil is rich and fertile.  As we got away from roads, we saw orchards of plums and pomegranates heavy with fruit, fields of fennel and thyme, tomatoes, and peppers.  Truly beautiful.  Did I take a single picture?  Nope--I was busy keeping an eye on the roadside trash.  We (meaning Amanda--we don't have the eye yet) did score one, so our day was a success.  It was clear, and only medium sized, but it still had its (plastic faux) wicker basket. (At one point she did spot a large green one, but, alas, broken)

Between the awe of the necropolis, the craziness of finding the hobby shop, and the fun of trash-viewing we decided that the day was full enough and wandered back home.
Friday:  Monte Cassino

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