A Travel Anecdote with Coffee

Rachel Roddy
My Kitchen in Rome

Before arriving in Italy I hadn’t drunk coffee for several years, for several reasons, none of which are particularly interesting. I returned to coffee-drinking with a ristretto in a noisy bar near Napoli airport about an hour after I first landed. As the intense half-inch of dark liquid invaded every crevice of my palate and seeped into my system, I enjoyed a moment of caffeine ecstasy that I’m not sure will ever be repeated. Tiredness banished, I then ignored advice and decided to find my bed-and-breakfast on foot. After an hour spent dodging cars and mopeds ridden by helmetless youths and walking down alleys strung out with damp washing, their walls encasing shrines to the Madonna framed with pink plastic flowers, and the air thick with Neapolitan dialect, I found myself back where I’d started. I had another espresso and caught a taxi.

I wonder if that second espresso was long or short…

And so for day 2972

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