After a number of interviews with the staff of the Dedalus collective, Im going out with them tonight to trail the social cooperatives cutting-edge project: the little camper with the black cat emblazoned on its side that has been roaming the streets of Neapolitan prostitution.
But in real life, Im really very, very shy.
Italy's blazing sun was casting long orange shadows on the city, but none were longer than the ever-looming shadow of Vesuvius - an ancient image of destruction that in my hesitancy became the sinister and unwelcoming bogey-man of the south.
She tells us shes very shy in real life.First, the girls are locked in a room and for weeks subjected to constant violence and rape, until they become completely submissive and dependent and any sense of dignity and self-worth has been destroyed.With each contact with the prostitutes they approach in the street, they of course fill out a form, count the new arrivals, and take note of who isnt working that night, but in fact they know all the names by libertine parfumerie instagram heart.When things arent going well for her, she often climbs into la Gatta and starts to cry and confides everything.She makes a few calls, looks for them in every cupboard in the camper.La Gatta goes out a few times a week to look for transsexuals, migrant women prostitutes, and minors.She is for Lilia, who is Moldovan and so speaks the same language.I grabbed a banana from the hostel's generous fruit supply and took a bus around the bay, following the busy roads out of the city centre and away from the cacophony of car, and ship horns.In other cases, Albanian women are abducted into prostitution.
But this journey made one thing abundantly clear: the teams of la Gatta are doing absolutely crucial work, night after night after night.Later as I walked into the hostel lounge the lively reception staff rolled their eyes and asked me, without any preliminary enquiries - "enjoy Pompeii?" Apparently my dust covered feet which had drawn the eyes of locals on the return train, were a tell-tale sign.As expected, Pompeii was brimming, but the gargantuan tour groups crowding at the entrance were quickly dispersed and engulfed by the surprisingly large site, which is still under excavation.The Nigerians are much less strictly guarded than the Albanians.The Nigerian prostitutes represent the largest community in Campania, but also the most difficult to reintegrate because of low literacy and education levels.According to Nunzia, one of the directors of la Gatta, these include being rejected by the community (adulteresses, divorcées marginalization and poverty (widows with many children to care for or the will to flee physical and psychological violence within the family.Numbers and origins say so little about the womens faces and characters, their preoccupations, their completely unique journeys.A no mans land between welfare and police state.The study also notes that even if the woman is subjected to severe violence, she hopes that one day her man will take her off the streets and bring her back to Albania to be a lady.
They know each womans journey, each womans history.
I was heading for The Hostel of the Sun, rated Europe's best hostel three years in a row and something of a legend in Europe's inter-rail sub terrain.
In la Gatta, youre asked to leave your certainties at the door.