Speaking of Naples in my previous posts, I already said that Neapolitans are generous, sympathetic, able to adapt, make do and find solutions.
Once there was the custom of the “paid coffee”, to wit, rich persons who often left another paid coffee at the bar, and this for any eventual worse-off who had no money for a coffee, but now it is the turn of the pizza.
One of the oldest and most famous pizzeria in Naples, Sorbillo’s, recently launched a new initiative, those who have no money can eat a pizza today and pay the next week, a sort of IOU. An initiative against the crisis to help people.
This custom existed in the past, especially after the war, when the economic situation was not rosy.
Crisis and unemployment have led to an increase in the poverty, so in many neighborhoods some retailers of food are returned to the old custom of giving goods on credit, transcribing “purchased” products on a sheet in duplicate (a sort of credit or promissory note) and wait until the end of the month for the payment. This is a risk, we know, but a way to sell and not lose customers, and the retailers adapt and are confident.
Hunger increases crime and leads to steal, as happened a few months ago in a neighboring country where a man (a good person) stole some pizzas from the hands of a customer coming out of a pizzeria, then saying to the victim: “I’m doing it to feed my family, this is better than stealing money or anything else.”
Sorbillo’s pizzeriasays that his initiative is aimed at students, street urchins, older and pensioners whose he makes note of their personal information before delivering pizza on credit, hoping that they, by serious people, then keep the promise to pay. If someone does not pay, it goes well, doesn’t matter, considering about 800 pizzas sold per day, there is also the gain of the few pizzas no longer paid.
Probably this is also a way to get publicity, but economics trends is real and we all felt it.
Walking down the street an old lady sees a thread of string on the ground, bows down, picks it up and puts it in his pocket taking it away.
Scene of the past, times when a simple string even could be useful, to tie an old cardboard suitcase, for example.
Today, those who need a piece of string buy an entire roll then leaving it who knows where, while the cardboard suitcases exist anymore, we buy a Samsonite trolley or the last publicized on TV, even if for a single trip.
Adaptation? Consumerism? Progress?
It possibly has been the new euro currency making worse the things and then the international crisis, but if we go back in time, the situation about economic difficulty begins with the massive advertising (TV?) and worsens with the loss of some value which over the years hit our society.
For values I also mean also the one about the little things, like the piece of string collected from the woman.
Although my relatives criticisms, I do not throw things away so easily, keep them and gather some good object if abandoned, even if I find a simple nail or an used flowerpot in the street.
My old grandmother said: “chi trova astipa” that in Neapolitan means “who finds must store” and we were a family that couldn’t be defined poor or needy. It was the life style to be different and beyond the value given to any goods, the shame, if presents, was not for those having worn clothes or no car.
Well…. A trouble shared is a trouble halved.. .. somebody could say!
Time ago on a sidewalk, next to garbage cans, I saw a large mirror thrown away because of no use evidently. It was a beautiful mirror in a eight-shaped figure and I don’t deny the instinctive urge to take it before some urchin broke it or the garbage collector took it away, but the shame was over, together the impossibility to carry such a burden alone. I only can imagine what the old woman could have said or any other person just living forty years ago, when things were not thrown away so easily after the use, especially if still good and usable, and there was a sort of family recycle. I think that if such a people could be here today, he/she will have the opportunity to live on a private income coming by all the things thrown away.
And thinking of…………. the one that is asking for a loan just to have a dishwasher at any cost or a newer plasma screen to show at the friends.