28 March 2010

a story of love and pollution part 2

It may be best to read "a story of love and pollution part 1" first, but Richard says it just seems like a bunch of rambling about my life story to him -- so it may not make much sense to you.  Here is the promised continuation of ramblings --

When I finished reading the book, I insisted that Richard had to read it, too.  He began but was never able to finish it.  In fact, we've not been able to even discuss it together.  I'm not sure if it was the violence that turned him off or just the truth, all of the truths that Saviano offered.

I don't even know how much of the book is fact or how much is fiction.  The author claims it's fact. I tend to believe him.

One of the many disturbing things I learned from the book is that the area is essentially a toxic dump, a dump for its own refuse and also a dump for much of the rest of Italy and Europe.   The industrial waste of the rich North often ends up there.   The trash that you see along the side of the road or overflowing the bins is only a miniscule part of the larger problem that exists there.  It is alarming.  It is disturbing.  If I had read the book before living there, then I would never had chosen to live there.  You might not either.

The violence and the crime provide reason to be alarmed as well.  The house of our friends that was raided by Carabineri officers?  It's in Casal di Principe.  Read the book, you'll see why that matters.  It is likely that a tunnel did exist beneath the floors.  It is likely that their rent money (your tax dollars) was supporting illegal activities.  This reaches beyond comprehension.

Now when I read articles about purported pollution or contamination of water or food -- well, I tend to believe that all accusations are indeed true and all else is a cover-up.

There are thousands of good people there, innocent, hard-working people going about their days like you and me. People with the same hopes and dreams for their children.

Occasionally Richard and I entertain the idea of relocating to Naples -- either when the Young One is ready for high school or perhaps afterwards.  Every time we have the conversation, the dire state of the environment enters the conversation and essentially ends that dream.  Damn that book.

I was able to leave.  Some people are not.  I'm afraid that if I did have to return, I would be among the miserable.  How could I not?  I did not mean to reduce all the problems of the place down to a bit of trash on the side of the road & the absence of recycling, but I suppose I effectively did so. I know it reaches much further. I also I likely only know of small parts of it.  Sorry to have offended you so, KC.

If this doesn't make much sense to you --  read the book.

And hey -- I do not mean to suggest that all is peachy in our new home in the North.  My dear husband has developed respiratory issues that magically clear up as soon as he leaves this environment.  How do you like that irony? This is not isolated to him, either.


  1. wow, sounds like a fascinating book. a fascinating topic in general, actually! do you know of any other books that address the issue? i think i will pass that particular book by (i'm a wienie when it comes to violence), but will recommend it to my husband! sounds like something he would really like.

  2. I don't know about you, but I would also be hessitant to move back to a place that held such blind memories of falling in love. I had my blind in love time when I lived in Charleston, SC. I've been back to visit, but I'm not sure if going back to live would be good for me. It may change how I view our falling in love memories. So maybe it's not all about trash. Sometimes its about how we want to hold our memories.

  3. Oh dear- I've now decided never to post comments when I haven't slept well. (Or use someone else's post as an opportunity to launch a tirade!) You in no way offended me, actually I've always thought of you as being rather like-minded on this issue...my rant was directed at people who are very superficial in their reaction to the problem, (basically anyone who says it's best to ignore it) and I never thought to include you in that group. I've always found the comments you make about the south to be very thoughtful.

    And I completely understand the headiness of falling in love with a man and a place at the same time- I did it too. I was always aware of the problems here, but they didn't bother me quite as much at first as they do now that I'm a mother. They just didn't seem as grave or insuperable.

    But really, I hope I haven't offended you at all. I really appreciate and respect your perspective on life in Italy (and in general!)

  4. By the way I really enjoyed reading your love story.

  5. KC,
    Really. I'm fine. I just needed to do this. I may even delete it -- Richard thinks it's TMI.

    Have a great day!

  6. We watched the movie Gomorrah. I didn't know it was a book. I don't think I'll read it (that violence factor), but I think Win would like it. The movie was really good. Sad, but good.
    I really liked these posts -- very interesting.

  7. Oh, what a relief! :)

  8. I read this after I left the previous comment (on your previous post). I'm not sure I understand the comments above, I'll have to do some background blog reading.
    By the way, Saviano is under permanent police protection for what he disclosed.