Joanie said that it should be a post about a keepsake.
In other words, an experience that causes me to remember something. And which tells something about me.
I have m-a-n-y memories. However, most of them tell too much about me.
One memory that comes easily to mind is a visit to the Isle of Capri a few years ago.
That was the holiday where I was
My memories should have only been of a classy and beautiful holiday destination. Of an island of myths, charming seafarers, ancient Roman orgies, dreamy sea views, 1950s celebrities in big sunglasses, and lazy summer evenings spent browsing in exclusive boutiques alongside the world's elite. Right?
Well kind of. Except when I think of the Isle of Capri now I think of dangling over cliff tops in a chairlift wishing I could loosen my grip on the bars long enough to reach out and push my friend into the water below. I have no remorse for such thoughts. She wouldn’t have felt a thing. She was delirious with laughter!! And all at my expense.
Now I should explain at the outset that my friend and I are polar opposites in almost every way. How different we are became apparent on our trip to Capri.
The island is gorgeous. It’s a given. It abounds in olive groves, cliffs, hills, and garden terraces overlooking the blue water of the Mediterranean. However, there is something mythical yet at the same time equally disturbing about the place.
We arrived in Capri town by boat, then took a bus up a cliff top road with numerous hairpins to get to Anacapri. A picturesque whitewashed village with souvenir shops, pedestrian lanes and designer shops.
After we had walked through the town, my friend asked if I wanted to take the chairlift up to Capri's highest point, Monte Solar (589m above sea level). My look said it all. Like she even had to ask. She smiled and said, "well just come over with me and wait until I get back".
So we walked to the chairlift area. And so I stood to wait for her right near where the guy in the picture is standing.
I was deep in thought, minding my own business when all of a sudden I could hear the noise of the chair lift coming right behind me. Before I could even turn around, a guy came hurtling towards me, pushed me sideways back into a chair and off I went.
Up the mountain. Strapped in with some flimsy piece of plastic.
I was in shock. And then I screamed.
Did I tell you I am terrified of heights? Even standing up makes me giddy!
The chairs were all swaying in the strong wind and all I could hear was my friend in the chair behind screaming with laughter. My legs started swinging and one of my shoes fell off into some poor unsuspecting Italian's vegetable patch. How did I know when I dressed that morning that I'd be flying through the air like some disturbed circus act? So I let the other one go too. Imagine Guiseppe's surprise when he was picking his tomatoes the next day only to find that a couple of size 8 mules had sprouted in his prized patch.
I couldn't look down, up or sideways. All I could think of was that I didn't want to die in southern Italy because they bury their dead on top of each other on cliff tops. That would be my idea of Hell.
By the time I finally reached the top of the summit, I had to be almost surgically removed from the chair because my hands were so tightly clenched to the rail.
There was apparently not only a picturesque cafe and terraces but panoramic views as well. Who knew? I still don't know. I missed it. I refused to open my eyes long enough to take a good look.
I flopped down on a cafe chair and ordered the strongest drink they had. Unfortunately that was an espresso. I threw it back like a shot. Have you ever tasted real Italian coffee? I followed it up with three more. Let's just say it did nothing but accelerate the nerves, jitters and rapid heartbeat.
There I was was, shoeless, desperate and accompanied by a red faced, cackling clown. Thankfully, a nice American tourist, who just loved Australian accents (even high pitched hysterical ones), took pity on me and gave me a swig or ten of his medicinal spirits. Hell, I was hoping he would piggy back me down the mountain on foot but his inconsiderate wife was having none of it.
The only thing that got me down that mountain again, if truth be told, was the thought of a new pair of shoes from one of those little boutiques in Capri town. And the trip back down was way better than going up. My mind was fully occupied - hatching a devious plan to get my friend back. And so I did. What laughs we shared.
Did I tell you how much I love Italy and all things Italian (besides chairlifts)? I really, really do.
So, go on, what does that memory say about me? I am all ears.
Ciao! And go check out the lovely Joanie at her blog Joanie's Random Ramblings. She is so funny and spirited. She gave me a Keeper's Award for which I am honoured. I am giving it to any of my readers who want to share their keepsakes too.