Published: November 28th 2007June 16th 2007
Leaving from Sorrento by train we traveled for about an hour before arriving at Pompeii. As soon as we left the train we entered the gauntlet of people trying to sell you anything they could. There were people everywhere peddling bottle water, sunglasses, tour books, beach towels, and even guided tours through Pompeii from a "bona fide Ph. D." in archealogy (as was supposedely evident by their name tags which listed their names, Ph. D.). Why would a bona fide doctor of archealogy be whoring himself out to Pompeii tourists at the train station for 50 Euros? Who knows.
Anyway, we blew by the makeshift marketplace beside the train platform as quickly as we could, picked up some audio guides and made our way into Pompeii. It wasn't long after we were inside that we realized the people peddling the bottled water near the train station may have been on to something. It was dreadfully hot and dusty in Pompeii and there is absolutely no shade or any convenient place to sit down and take a rest.
I think had my visit to Pompeii been earlier in my trip to Italy I would have taken more from seeing the
ruined buildings and statues, but at this point I think I was nearing my breaking point. As the day wore on we went more and more quickly through Pompeii, often even skipping points of interest if the lines seemed to long or the crowds to huge.
At the end of our day in Pompeii we made our way back to the train station where I managed to spot the same foolish high school Italian teacher I had seen sipping limoncellos in front of his students with a sort of faux-snooty bourgeoisie expression on his face, earning the laughter of both me and his students. I knew if I kept my eye on him long enough he would so something else that would earn himself some more ridicule. He didn't let me down. I wasn't watching him for more than five minutes when I overheard him explain to his students the proper way to board a commuter train in Europe. He promptly followed this up by being smashed by and stuck between two closing doors on the train. His students had to grab his arm and pull him into the train, as they, without heeding his advice, had all managed
to board the train without any problems. It seemed evidently true, by this specimen of human excellence, that those who cannot do, teach.