Vino. It’s one of the nicer parts of Italian culture and something that should be enjoyed. Not, however, if you’re a teenager on the Experiment. Our orientation made it quite clear that the kids on the trip could not have any alcohol with the exception of cultural events. My personal opinion of this rule aside for the moment, I had to follow it.
After an afternoon at the pool, we set off with the kids into the city of Pompeii for dinner. Something I never knew before our long walk to the center of town was that it plays an important role religiously as well. In fact, the duomo in town is technically a part of the Vatican state and the Pope has been known to vacation in Pompeii occasionally.
Unfortunately, we got down there and the duomo was closed. The kids were starving at that point and Enzo took us to the restaurant quickly. We arrived at the Trattoria Add’ù Mimi’ (no idea what that means). We sat down in two tables (because they couldn’t bring them together). I, along with nine students and Enzo, took one table. Importantly, Caitlen and Lowell were both seated close to us.
So we’re just chatting as the kids have their own conversation at the end of the table. As per usual, Enzo ordered me a litro of vino bianco (even if I didn’t really want it), which we were drinking slowly at our end. As we’re in the middle of the conversation, Enzo grabs the pitcher and pours a bit of wine into Caitlen’s glass. I’m kind of shocked. Everyone at the table sees it. Except for Caitlen. She’s wondering what’s going on. The other kids tell her and Enzo gradually offers everyone in the area a little wine. I’m powerless to stop it.
Of course, the kids didn’t have enough wine for anything to happen. But I was still shocked. We emerged from the restaurant with everyone jubilant as this photo shows.
Unfortunately, the excitement would not last. For Pompeii has one really undesirable trait at night. Dogs. Stray dogs. The kids were deathly afraid of dogs and I’ve never seen dogs so quick to follow someone as these. From the moment we left the restaurant, one dog followed us all the way back to the hotel. Even there, he followed us as we held our evening meeting. As we were going inside for the night, something alarmed the dog and he barked. Lowell screamed and almost pushed two of us into the water.
I was particularly on guard because one of the other group leaders was bitten by a cat earlier in her trip. It was at her host mother’s house. Even though it occurred in a house, she had to go to the hospital and get rabies shots because the dog did not have its shots. A bad scene to be avoided at all costs.