Naples: Never Trust an Italian
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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Naples: Never Trust an Italian

This is a pizza. There are certain things you don't do to it...
There was a remix of some old Phil Collins song playing through the room. The DJ was really into it. A fridge full of Italian beer and a shelf of whiskey faced the bar where the bartender was singeing a bit of rosemary for a Monte Negroni that I had ordered. I liked its bitterness, which also slowed down my drinking.

The Italians with me were getting gin and tonics, our Brazilian friend ordered a Long Island iced tea. We went outside, Phil’s lyrics more muffled at this point.

We clinked our glasses and in the chill of a Saturday night in Naples, what in London would be considered springtime bliss. We drank while a woman danced on an aerial ring hanging from a balcony because, well, she could.

“So you’ll never guess what Bryan does,” an Italian named, let’s say, Giuseppe, said to a Brazilian named, let’s say, Alice.

“What?” she asked.

“Please, don’t, this is ridiculous,” I said. We had discussed this earlier over a glass of wine. It was an honest confession that needed no publication, but here we were.

“Sometimes he orders two pizzas.”

“Seriously, stop,” I pleaded.

“And he eats one for dinner.”

“You’re embarrassing,” I said.

“And the second he puts in the refrigerator.”

“This is entirely normal,” I argued.

Naples from above, where untrustworthy people live...
“And he eats the second one cold for breakfast. Cold!”

I slapped my forehead in mock disgust. Alice didn’t flinch. She sipped her Long Island.

“Well, I have a confession,” she said. Despite being in Italy for a long time, she wasn’t beholden to some imaginary custom where pizza is only eaten hot. “I used to do that, too.”

“No!” Giuseppe said. “No that’s not possible!”

I applauded her.

“But I also put ketchup on it,” she added.

“What?” I said. “That’s even worse, you know. That is a violation.”

“Oh it’s not that bad,” Giuseppe said. “I do that, too, but also with mayo.” His confidence in attacking me began to fade.

“What? That’s still worse yet. Bad. Molto bad,” I said. Even Alice thought he had crossed a line. Mayonnaise on pizza? No. In no way was that a thing that civilized society could tolerate. I was surrounded by monsters.

“No, it’s fine,” he said, his English faltering as he began to realize that maybe, in fact, it wasn’t. I imagined even Pizza Rat turning up his nose.

“So I can’t eat cold pizza, but you can bastardize a margherita with mayonnaise?” I asked, indignant, angry, fuming.

“And ketchup!” Alice added. She was in no position to criticize, but I appreciated the support.

“I’m Italian, it’s fine,” he said. This was a common defense to cover up sins of all kinds. It was beautifully innocent and, as I have learned over the past month, works in many, many situations. I am learning, however, not to trust an Italian when he or she tells me something is the way it is. I will ask for proof, and in the absence of any, I will tell them I don’t believe them and that it is untrue.

When they ask me why I think that way, I will say, “I am French,” and cite Descartes, evoking the scientific process. I needed evidence. If that doesn’t work, I’ll say, “I’m American,” and hopefully they'll try harder.

3 comments:

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  2. Naples are showing us many new kind of food. All these styles of food are may be customwritings com reviews some of their food we never trust ever. So if you need to eat good food then you mus leave that food or that place.

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