Ticking away the moments…

DAY TWO Monday

Monday, 25 June 2012
10:15 PM

We were exhausted. Sleep came easy. There was just one thing. A church bell. Our apartment is just metres below the town church – St Luca. I think it starts chiming at about six in the morning and finishes late at night. It chimes every fifteen minutes. It is an unbelievable reminder of how our lives are seriously ticking away!!!

The bells that toll.

We have a Queen size bed with light cotton sheets. It was very comfortable despite the fact that I have only one pillow. I am too tired to challenge anything. We both snore and both wake and indignantly demand that the other roll over so the snoring dissipates. It does just enough for the other to retire to slumber land. Oh what wonderful sense of security we create for one another.

Once awake I was in the land of the demanding. My stomach was demanding breakfast. My brain was demanding coffee. My logic was demanding that someone had to go to the Mini Mart and that it probably wasn’t open at five thirty. My stomach demanded a diversion. John ransacked the cupboards and discovered tea. My soul was ameliorated. I would survive.

After a sensible cup of tea liberated our senses we proceeded to make logical and rational decisions about how our day would proceed. We decided that we needed to visit the Mini Market and grab at least some supplies. This we did.
The mini market was tucked in discretely behind an entrance that looked like most homes. The tell tale sign above the door declared its difference. We gingerly entered and discovered that it had a small display cabinet with a few delicious looking cold cuts along with a variety of cheeses, olives and a few morsels of things I didn’t recognise including what looked like a large bowl of salted capers. I wondered what they were and how they would be used. Lots of instances of curiosity go unresolved when one choses to travel to foreign parts.

There were a few shelves with a variety of pastas and condiments. The two fridges just inside the door held fish and frozen food while the other held ice creams and other frozen deserts. I made a very lame attempt at ordering a few items in Italian only to be told in English what I wanted. The shopkeeper flitted between the two languages and although her English was not good we communicated effectively. We’re women, what can I say? We got what we thought we needed and headed back. It cost about twenty-six Euro for two bags of groceries including a litre of vino for one Euro twenty!!!

A wonderful breakfast of omelette, lemon infused tea and croissant followed. John was a little bit on the tooth so he added a ham and cheese roll. It lifted our spirits and we comfortably fell back into bed.

ANTS: millions of them invaded our little abode. John read in some guide book that they are in plague proportions because we are surrounded by fruit trees and vegetable gardens and little black ants are just par for the course. I kept trying to sweep them out. I think that might be an indication of total insanity. I took a lemon off the tree outside our bedroom door and squirted juice over the entry sill. It kept them out for a few hours but I think they used the time to gather friends and family from the surrounding area and then they really had it in for me. They made a fine carpet.

John found the timetable for Bus Flavio Gioia sas Servizio Urbano Positano. Brilliant! This little bus serviced the urban area of Positano and included us. We decided to take a trip to Marina di Praia for a swim. It was delightful. There was a bar right on the beach and in front of that the brightly coloured umbrellas and sun lounges. I found the little man who takes the money and asked how much. I think he told me three times in Italian that it was free and it wasn’t until I had my purse in my hand that he reached out touched my hand and carefully and slowly, with eye contact said, ‘It’s free signora. At this time of day, with no sun, it’s free” Oh. I needed to change and seeing I was going to pay I was welcome to use the hotel facilities. He was so charming. . Marina de Praia is in a ravine and consequently later in the afternoon most of the beach and swimming area is shaded. I was in heaven.

After a swim and a relax we decided to explore. There were a few bars, pensiones and a track cut into the rock leading to other bars perched over the water. We stumbled upon Il Piaratas and settled in for a drink. The bar itself is inside a cave on the rock mountain which plummets into the sea. It was cool and shaded and a delightful spot to chill out and drink beer and limoncella.

Swimming in the shade..bliss.

Being in a ravine means that we have to walk back up the mountain side to get back to the bus. We were getting used to this form of exercise. It is amazing how initially ascending steep inclines requires a rest every eight or nine steps and as you acclimatize it stretches to fifteen to twenty. It is a particular form of fitness. We waited on the roadside for only a few minutes for the bus which took us back to San Luca.

I can’t remember how we got talking to Denise but it was a revelation. She told us that there was a café in the square. It wasn’t really a café. It is a community centre where men play cards- Italian cards. They are nothing like cards I have ever seen. They have beautiful illustrations on each and she said it was really complicated and she had no idea how the game is played. The centre is in what looks like it may once have (or still is) the prespritary. The front room is large and has a ‘shop’ selling chips, drinks and coffee at one end and a few tables with old men playing cards scattered around the other end of the room. When they tire of the game the sit outside and continue gossiping.

Denise and I chatted about why she was in Praiano and she told me a long and involved story about how she was being harassed by the Marfia and was desperate to hold on to her house. I said I would shout her a coffee. There is no choice it is just a coffee, an espresso. It cost me a Euro, for the two!!! I didn’t realise I was going to be that generous!! The man running the community centre was the padre. What a treat. We arranged to meet again on Thursday.

Denise had told us of the supermarket called Tutti di Tutti which was a five minute walk away in the opposite direction to the Mini Market and a little more complicated to get to. We headed off and topped up our supplies. We had a delicious dinner of spaghetti and prawns. We sat out on our terrace under the lemon tree overlooking the fabulous view of the ocean and sipping our beers and wine. Ahh this is the life.


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