After that we just walked towards the train station. It was siesta time so the only food place open was McDonalds. I was hungry, so we went in there and I got a salad - which looked extremely green and healthy for a place that is usually extremely unhealthy. I even got a little container of olive oil and vinegar with it. I was debating whether or not I should put this disgusting story on here, but I think I will. Make sure you're not eating anything!
We went to the tiny train station and sat on a wooden bench near our tracks
. There was no one else around except for an employee who stood near us. I sat there and pulled out a bag of gummy bears (it was Easter and I got them from the morning) and a magazine. We still had a while until our train came. Suddenly I saw an old guy ambling towards us. He plopped himself on the bench next to me, and I was hit by a terrible smell. He must have been homeless. He wore a tattered red plaid shirt, a pair of faded dirty jeans, and some leather working boots. He saw I was eating the gummy bears, and he started talking in Italian and motioning for me to throw them to the pigeons. I just thought, "What? I don't want to throw my gummies to the pigeons. They might be really bad for them. The pigeons might choke. And plus, I want to eat my gummies." After I wouldn't move, he just started cackling and shaking his head like I was stupid for not giving my gummy bears to the birds. I shifted slightly away from him and opened my magazine back up. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him take a leather boot off. Then he peeled he sock off his foot. When he did that, I really wished I wouldn't have looked. Even the grossest foot pictures could not match this foot. His toenails were green and ragged. But the skin was really the bad part. It was like a scaly reptile, it was so dry. It was white with cracks all over. It's hard to explain, and I feel sick doing it. This isn't even the worst part of the story though. He then started scratching his foot with his fingernails. The skin flaked off into a pile next to me. By then I felt so sick, and I tried to avert my eyes but the image kept coming back to me. The only thing I seemed to hear was the scratching of his fingernails. Oh, but it gets worse. That day was a windy day. There was suddenly a big gust. The entire pile of his dead skin blew in our direction. Since I was right next to him, lots of it landed on my jeans and bare feet (I was wearing sandals). But it also blew all over our bags. The man reached a hand into his boot and pulled out a couple of dirty tissues, which he tossed onto the ground
. He pulled off his other boot. After he took off his other sock, he started flinging it around in the air. He was trying to get the dead skin out of it. But I was still sitting next to him, and most of it flew straight into my body - including my face. I let out a cry and jumped up, running away from him and the bench. I just went to the far wall and frantically tried to brush the stuff of me. My mom and Soph followed. My mom asked the employee (who seemed to feel really bad for us) where a nearby restaurant was. We went back to get our bags. I shook it before putting it on my back, attempting to get the white flakes off it. As I was doing that, the man pulled another dirty tissue out of his boot. It was covered in brown smears. He threw it into the wind, and I didn't see it until it landed right on my foot. I made a sound of disgust and kicked it off. The man just cackled, which made me extremely annoyed. "Hey!" I said. Then, pointing to the tissue, I said, "There's a garbage for that! Right! Over! There!" I said as each time I jabbed my finger in the direction of the trash can. The man didn't even get up, all he did was shrug. I would have continued and said a lot more, but I thought better of it. Instead I glared at him, brushed myself off one last time, and marched away. My mom's last comment was "lotion" as she pointed at the man's scaly feet.
As soon as we left the train station, I burst into tears. It was probably just my strong mix of emotions. I just stood there, wailing "Th-that...was...s-so...gross!" What kept playing itself in my mind was the man scratching his foot - and the swirls of dead skin as they blew in the wind. We walked in the direction of the food place, but I definitely didn't have much of an appetite. That was by far my most disgusting experience ever, and a very memorable way to start our EuRail adventure.
After getting off of the cruise, we stayed in Bari for the day. We found a tour when we were walking towards the train station. In the tour we drove on a bus a little bit, and then walked around. It was tiring because we had to carry our bags on our backs. There was a really cool ancient castle that we passed.