After Pescara I took a 4 hours ride to Napoli, that was stretched to a 6 hours ride with a stop at a local restaurant in the mountains and a little stop at a petrol station due to the heat this day. At the petrol station I recognized immediately that I arrived to the south. The guy from the petrol station went out, I looked tired at him and said: “Just making a stop, it’s too hot”. And he said: “Yeah of course, give me your backpack.” He helped me taking me off my backpack and took a chair outside for me to sit on and offered me some water. Guys, this is where I’m from, hospitality and a big heart everywhere. BUT: like the people here have a big heart for good things, they have it also for bad things. I stayed two days in Napoli and I think I could write a book just about this short time.
Let’s keep the stories short. First of all, I was hosted by a german girl living in Napoli. The house was a shared flat by 5 or 6 people and there were always some 2-5 people there that didn’t live there. Imagine you go to the kitchen, there stands a girl that I never saw before, she said “Hi”, I said “Hi” and then she asked: “Do you live here?”, I replied: “No, and you?”, “Me neither”. Yeah situations like this happened in this house. And the called themselves all Sowjet’s (I didn’t get why, because I didn’t have the opportunity to spend much time with them).
After my long trip to Napoli I went to train, where I met some awesome guy’s. I told to a guy: “I’m bad at takedowns, I usually pull guard” he then asked “Oh, does your boyfriend know that?” He immediately became my friend and the next day he invited me to his home and we stayed out till 5 o’clock in the morning.
Oh and that’s how I look like in the meantime, cause always training in a different gym as a lightweight you always face sneaky techniques that you didn’t expect or didn’t know they even existed.
After Napoli I went to Benevento, where my grandparents live. I ate a lot of good stuff from the garden and I helped my grandmother doing the hard work that they can’t do because of their age.
Why is the food so much better at my grandparents home than in other restaurant’s? Not because of her special recipes, but because they work hard day for day in the garden, to make their own stuff rather than chilling in front of the TV and buy the stuff at the supermarket (for anyone who asks himself, how he could become a great cook like my southitalian grandmother ;))
Regarding bjj, I needed to drive for 1:10h to the gym in Salento. I met there Giulio, one of the first Blackbelts in Italy. He explained me, how BJJ evolved in Italy, who the first person were and how they did progress. Giulio had his academy and taught there in his school, for now nearly 15 years. It was a pleasure to meet an italian BJJ-Legend
And that’s how it looks like, where my father comes from. These are my ROOTS
Next Stop is Bari & Lecce. Hopefully my vespa doesn’t get stolen (South of Italy is beautiful and not so dangerous, but they steal car’s and bicycle’s).