L'Estate- The Summer
The seasons change and the Amalfitanas change with it. That’s how it is here. People on the Costeria seem to all be connected or linked somehow to the seasons.
Inverno brings “lentamente” and the people go “piano piano” because of the cold weather. They take their time, they are more tranquil, more at peace. In contrast the bubbling vibrancy of summer keeps everyone on their toes. Everything is at such a rapid pace, when do the locals have time to gasp for air when being smothered by tourists?
How does L’estate change the Amalfitanas? In two ways, it changes their behaviour and it changes their mentality. The 6 month tourist season is the working season for most Amalfitanas. Once April hits, contracts begin for many waitresses, boat skippers, shop assistants and hotel staff. Hands are tied, their commitment and dedication to their work has begun. This is their income for the year and so they will go above and beyond with earning well deserved tips.
Working on the coast is not all what it seems. One assumes that working regulations are all in place i.e. overtime, sick days, sick leave, maternity leave etc these don't exist here, not in the summer. Even my Fonzy, who is committed full heartedly to his job, will arrive an hour before but will finish an hour maybe two hours after his shift is over.
Whilst writing, I see a woman waiting tables. She has to be due any day now! It’s hot. 39’C in fact and I can see her sweltering under the hot sun, crossing pavement to pavement after beckoned calls of tourists. Her and her soon to be bambino or bambina!
The tourists have no idea. Does the air reek of obnoxious with a touch of self indulgence? The short of it is, the locals are tired, overworked on little rest and are expected to perform in the circus ring where people have paid good money to come to see the show!
So if they do come across a little agitated, don't take it to heart. Appreciate them reaching out to help you because that’s not their job, they are doing it purely for satisfaction. Also please note that English is their second language so they are trying their best. (Speaking at 100km an hour wouldn't help them I’d imagine)
Tourism is the vehicle that drives the Amalfi Coast, some of us are behind the wheel while others have come along for the ride.