Thursday, December 4, 2008

Margherita Pizza

"When the moon hits your eye
Like a giant pizza pie
That's Amore..."

- Dean Martin, That's Amore

I had my first pizza pie in Napoli tonight. 

The place came recommended by the hostel, so we set off for the old town with the map and a vague sense of direction. Went down series of narrow alleys and crowded piazzas. Almost run over by a cacophony of scooters and cars hurtling down those one-way streets.  Past little of grannies taking their groceries home, and kids playing soccer in the squares. 

I had a Marghertia at the old town's local, a tiny corner restaurant that's buzzing with orders even after seventy-odd years. Almost weeped when I took my first bite out of that pizza. It's an amazing experience to eat the genuine article in the city where it all began. I almost felt ashamed of all those years spent ordering bastardised pizzas like Meat-lover's and Supreme pizzas. There is something magical about mozarella cheese, tomato paste and basil leaves. It's almost spiritual. 

Spent the rest of the night at a cafe overlooking one of those cramped little piazzas with a glass of red. Watched the locals gather in a corner of the square, and scooters buzzing through the alleys around us. Saw the moon and the stars peeking out through the clouds. And I thought to myself that there are much worse ways of spending the European winter. Freezing your arse off in Belgrade is one. Developing DVT on a long-haul bus is another. 

It's an amazing city, and I wish I had more time here. 

It's more ancient that Dubrovnik, and you can feel two millennia of human occupation when you walk through the streets. You see buildings built on top of massive vaulted archways, and churches tucked in amongst the towering apartment blocks. You see washing lines strung up high above you, and feel soiled socks tramped in the grime beneath your feet. And you can kind of understand how it must feel to live in a city where the history is so palpably a part of everyday life. 

Oh, and Arsenal lost 0-2 to Burnley in the Carling Cup. It's a pity, because I would've liked to have seen our kids win the damn thing for once, instead of just depantsing a couple of Premier League clubs in the early rounds. I mean, the performances of Wilshere, Ramsey, Vela and co. really should be acknowledged in some way. 

Then again, we did beat Chelsea 2-1 on the Sunday after a truly shocking first half. I only got to watch the first half (the bar owner was hooked on a Bundesleague match instead), but it was bad, bad, bad. Shock of my life ot find out a few hours later that we'd actually won that match. Maybe we'd used up all our luck in that game? 

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