Monday, October 31, 2016

The real journey begins

Welcome to our blog, Genzano it story
and this post, the real journey begins
The real journey begins
Ship docked in the port of Naples, where people in the sixties would usually embark to go oversea. In those times there were no real large airlines that could fly you anywhere in the world like today. So, we had to travel for a long time to reach our destination.

After we left Italy, we crossed the Mediterranean Sea, then the Suez Channel and The Red Sea. We that had never travelled before, we were all wondering what we would see next. In a way it was very interesting, but we also were worried sometimes.

The real journey begins

The real journey outside Italy begins

Dear readers, this post is the continuation of our previous post, Goodbye to my country, where we had gone ashore and walked the streets of Messina and then back to the ship to leave Italy for good, and we did. Next evening, we were in Port Said Egypt. Here again we were allowed to go ashore, and here for the first time we met with real foreigners who talked a different language, you see, until then I and perhaps a lot of the other passengers who were also migrating to Australia had never been outside Italy. In Port Said I saw for the first time that the people of this world are not all the same, in fact I am going to describe to you the way as I have seen it at that time. We came down the ship and we were walking by instinct in small groups, or perhaps it was one of the ship crew that took a group to show us the way, and to see how things were done down there.

There were a few very young and poor people that wanted to shine your shoes for a small coin, there were others that would sell you anything, in fact they sold to a few of us a piece of well reaped wood for a piece of chocolate, there were a few shops open that you could buy a bargain if you knew how to bargain, because they would ask a very high price and who knew how to bargain could reduce that price to one third of the original price, or something like that.

On reflection today I would say that Egypt was a strange place, you see the people that we talked to, knew a bit of Italian and they would tell us that we were robbing them by calling us (mariul or mariooo) which in the dialect of southern Italy could be translated as robber or thief; but while they were telling us that we were bobbing them, they were indeed robbing us, right, left and centre. But today I understand what they were doing, they were just trying to live their life, they were so poor that what they were doing was the only way for them to survive, may God forgive them if they hurt us by robbing some of us a bit of what we had. 

Anyhow, then we went back to the ship and next day we were navigating in the Suez Chanel, the Suez Channel offer one of the strangest sights, because, while you are in a ship in this man-made channel that mankind should be proud to have made, and while you are in this strip of water slowly navigating towards the Red See, on both sides is desert land, what a sight this is?

After navigating the Suez Channel, we went through the Red Sea and next stop was the port of Aden Yemen. By now I and the others were aware that here too things would be different from the normal way, but anyhow there was not much to see or report. Because I did not venture too far away from the port, what I can remember of Aden is that there were a few shops near the port, but what I remember most is that the air seemed to have a strange smell like sulphur that day, so even today I wonder why it was so, and also, does the air in Aden smell like that all the time? If that is so, then different lands have different smells. I wonder if somebody else has had the same experience as I have.

Then the time came when we left Aden to go straight to Australia, this time it would take about a fortnight navigating no stop the Indian Ocean, a fortnight in the middle of the sea with no land in sight, this was going to be another hard take for the people that had never been to sea like myself, but anyhow we had taken that decision to go to Australia, so let us go and see what Australia would be like.

When we left Aden I had already set foot on three continents during my life, so, within my heart I was saying goodbye to them all, starting from my native town of Genzano di Lucania, Goodbye Genzano my native town, goodbye Italy my country of origin, goodbye Port Said Egypt Africa, with your poor people that try to rob all passenger that set foot on their land just to survive, and goodbye Aden Yemen Asia with you strange air smelling of sulphur. Next stop will be Australia that very far away land, which we were all thinking it would be like the Promised Land.


Navigating the Indian Ocean

Navigating the Indian Ocean from Aden to Fremantle Australia took us a fortnight; I should say that it was all right considering the circumstances that most of us had never been at sea before. You see, in those days’ people travelled by ship or any other kind of transport only when it was necessary, and even though the ship was not a luxury cruiser like the cruisers of today it was good enough for us who were just passengers who wanted to move from Italy to Australia, as it was in my case. The ship had embarked over 2000 passengers and we all had a proper bed to sleep in, there was plenty of good wholesome food and meals that were served regularly, we all had a place to sit at the tables, which were attached to the floor, but if the ship moved too much we had to mind the dishes and the drinks. Anyhow at other times we would go around the ship with some of these acquaintances that we have met on the ship, or just sit in our own cabin. We had also an English class that we could attend, so that we could learn a few words of English and be able to say at least the most Basic English words, in the hope that we would be able to say something and make other people understand what we needed when we reached Australia. There was something else that we learned at these English classes and it was the convict song I believe and it went thus: Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine, you are lost and gone forever, oh my darling Clementine. How appropriate it was in our cases.

Perhaps I am saying too much about my personal story and it is becoming boring, so I am cutting it short and close this article. See you in our next article, hello Australia here I come, or going to Australia.

See you soon, where I am going to tell you a bit more about my life story.  

Genzano it story
The real journey begins
Next time with, more of my life story, or something a bit more modern, depending on what happens.

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