August 6, 2011

Crazy Italians and scary Jesus

Italy's Amalfi Coast is a beautiful, majestic, awe-inspiring place.  Beautiful beaches + dramatic mountains + Italian food = awesomesauce.  It's a blissful alternate universe... until the local nutcase shows up at your cafe.

I've sung twice now with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival based out of Vietri sul Mare, one of the small, non-touristy towns in the region.  Festival singers and staff all stay at a fabulous hotel on a cliff overlooking the water, rehearse during the day, perform in the evening, then sit at a cafe drinking wine until the wee hours.  That's right, this does not suck - at all.

One evening out after a concert in Vietri, a local came to the cafe that we had nearly taken over.  Now Italians are known for their impeccable fashion, but this guy truly stood out.  I gathered the courage (or perhaps had enough liquid courage) to ask if I could take his picture.  He was more than happy to pose!

Check out my shoes, yo!
He was a little too happy to pose, actually.  After taking the above shot, he gestured at me to wait.  He started unbuttoning his shirt.  I said "Oh $&*%" under my breath.  There's a crazy Italian man in girly shoes stripping for me - in public.  He pulled his shirt off his shoulder and turned around to show me... the ugliest tattoo of Jesus I've ever seen.  He leaned over his fugly Jesus shoulder to look at me and said, "Jesus.  Numero uno.  Numero uno!"  So, of course, I took a picture of his tattoo.  Judge it for yourself:

I imagine this is what Jesus would look like if he went off the deep end and joined MS-13.  While I find the tattoo slightly disturbing, this guy cracked me up to no end.  What often makes travel so rewarding to me is the people that I happen to meet, even if they seem to have a few screws loose.

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