I'm pretty sure I have “Helpless Tourist” written on my face... or maybe it's the backpack and the map standing on a corner looking lost... that might be it. Either way I think I am the luckiest person I know!
I got into Bari at around 7pm from Rome and as I hadn't made any arrangements for accomodation I headed to the information desk to get directions to a hostel... the vague directions and points on the map didn't quite work for this map illiterate tourist and I spent an hour wandering around in circles until I bumped into 3 middle aged Italians and their 2 dogs. “Can I 'elp you?” Ummmm... YES!! I explained what I was looking for and they explained I would probably need to get a bus there because it's quite a walk. I think they saw the disappointment on my face and after a quick conversation in Italian, the lady said “Ok, well we 'ave a very nice place close 'ere, we go to theatre and come back about 11pm, but my friend Stephano is at 'ome, 'e 'as 17 years and 'e study animation. I go now pick up pizza and take to 'im before go theatre... If you want, I pick up 2 pizza and you come meet Stephano and you can stay at our 'ome... If you want. Or you can get bus to 'ostel... My name is Daniella.” I weighed up my options and decided it was probably just as risky wandering around on my own in Bari as it was to go with what seemed like perfectally normal people to their place.
Daniella didn't lie when she said she had a very nice place close by. The 3rd story, super modern apartment was huge and just around the corner. My room (yes my own room) had a king sized bed, en-suit and fresh towels handed to me when I walked in the door. After the 3 of them went to the theatre, Stephano and I ate pizza and he taught me to play Slaughter House... yes, Slaughter House. It was awful. Games like this along with comic books are where Stephano learnt most of his english, so needless to say he had perfected his english profanities very well!
Before I left the next day Daniella gave me her number and email address with the instruction to call her for anything I need at all while I'm in Bari. “You say- Haallo Daniellaaaa, I'm in Bariiii, I need dot dot dot- ok?!”.
I am once again touched and amazed by the generosity and kindness of strangers...
P.S. Sorry for the sudden bulk upload of posts, I haven't had regular internet for a while!