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Ferry to Italy, Puglia and the life of an ex-animator

Ciao Italia! After spending almost a whole week in beautiful Dubrovnik, I have now arrived in Italy. More precisely, in the region of Puglia.

In Covid 19 times the ferries unfortunately don’t run as often as usual from Dubrovnik to Bari. And even though the ferries run less often, it was quite empty. When I was looking for my seat on the ferry, I also met a guy born in Tunisia who wanted to tell me his life story during the first 20 minutes. Here is the fast forward of the entertaining story, in which one or two prejudices may be true haha. But since he didn’t introduce himself to me, I’ll call him “Karim” (sorry to all Karim readers, your name is unique and still great! 🙂 ).

Karim had actually booked a great hotel in Dubrovnik for two weeks with his wife and two of his children. But he did not like the whole thing at all. Because he found everywhere in Dubrovnik only uncomfortable stone beaches. He does not like it at all! Yesterday he sent his wife and children back by plane. He said that she was just grumbling the whole time anyway. The children couldn’t really play anywhere. So it was best that they went home. But he wanted to get away from his wife a little bit and so he didn’t take the plane; instead he took the 10 hour ferry to Bari with me today. He now lives in Italy and sells cosmetics online. Super business he says! Especially in Corona times it was absolutely insane. He even had a lot of stress. Apart from that, it’s a easy thing and that’s why he booked two weeks in the hotel in Dubrovnik for two thousand euros. But today is day 6 and he is really fed up with Croatia! Never again Croatia! This morning he still tried to get money back from the hotel manager for the remaining days and he was incredibly upset that he did not get it refunded. And the food in Dubrovnik does not go at all. He was in a pizzeria next to the hotel and he wanted to complain about the food. Then he goes to the kitchen, asks for the chef and then the chef from an Italian restaurant is a Chinese. That is insane! I am sure it is the same in every Croatian restaurant! He himself speaks 5 or 6 languages. He learned them at his dream job. Animator at various top hotels. He would like to do this job now as well. He had to work his way up slowly. Afterwards he organized bingo nights and earned 1000€ daily. Per Bingozettel 10€ (I did not remember the projection) and the money he was allowed to keep. Oh and every evening he could do bum bum bum. That keeps you really fit. If you are still an animator at the age of 45, you look like you’re in your mid-twenties because of daily bum bum bum. Oh yes, and besides the two children who are with him in Dubrovnik he has two other children with two women. Maybe even more children, but he doesn’t know them (laughs heartily, I laugh along). Then he says that he incredibly likes to drink Jonny Walker and asks if I would like to drink with him. Unfortunately I say no and he and his other friend Johnny move to another floor.

Well, so much for the quick run-through. I myself seem to look pretty boring, because he was just telling his story! I don’t even know if I asked any interposed questions xD. But otherwise nice guy hahaha. And it’s nice to hear another objective story about Dubrovnik that doesn’t quite match mine. I still find Dubrovnik outstanding!

Ferry Jadrolinija in Dubrovnik

I think the ferry was used to about 5% capacity. It was crazy what space was available there. And after I arrived in Bari after a 10 hour drive, there was a long queue in front of the border. After another 3 hours my papers were checked and I was allowed to pass Italy. I think that normally (outside Covid-19) everything goes faster. But I don’t want to imagine how the waiting fun would have been if the ferry would have been more busy.

Many people were sitting behind me
waiting in front of the border

Hardly arrived, I went on to the south, to Poglinano a Mare. In order to gather myself and to let the new language and environment affect me, I chose a nice cafe a little bit outside. Unfortunately, the Italians in southern Italy hardly speak any English. If I ask something in Spanish, I get a rather irritated look. That’s why I quickly reach the limits of my linguistic capacity and I feel a little bit like in Asia. Scusi Italia! So I point mainly to food and try to emphasize the Spanish and English words in Italian. However, since I don’t really have a plan of Italian yet, they look at me even more confused. Fortunately I can already emphasize the complicated foreign words like “Cappuccino” and “Espresso” incredibly well! Accordingly, I am currently eating a variety of foods in Italy. So, now a picture from Polignano a Mare.

Polignano a Mare
Many people were masks in the city

Afterwards I went on to Monopoli. A small town with a lot of charm, where I stayed for the night. Unfortunately I parked my car at the beach near a beach club and tried to sleep there. Long story short… At 3 o’clock in the morning the music was finally off… and I was finally sleeping!

Cathedral of Monopoli - fine art
Exhibition on the rocks
that is the view to sleep

What surprises me most in Puglia is that I hardly ever meet foreign tourists. But maybe it is also due to the Covid-19 pandemic that the cities in Puglia are full of Italian tourists. So if anyone should ever come to Puglia in the next few years, I look forward to hearing what it looks like! And since my blog entry is already incredibly long, here are two top recommendations for Puglia: Ostuni and Alberobello. Both are two pretty little towns in the interior of the country. Ostuni is known for its historic white old town and Alberobello shines with its really funny Trullo Houses and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. But see for yourself

trulli houses in Alberobello

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