Cal showed me this CNN article regarding a horrible incident “west of Naples” (huh?) in which Gypsy girls drowned and were taken away while sunbathers continued to stay at the beach.
Obviously, journalists and photographers on the scene have a more accurate description of the atmosphere at the beach in Torregaveta than I do, sitting here at my desk in Montpellier. And as the article states, it is true that there is a prevailing prejudice among Italians against Gypsies. But, don’t get me started on that topic – I’ll be here all day, and I have work to do.
This story reminds me of one recently told to me by my friend Sheila. She had taken her children to a nearby river for a day of fun, and a short distance away divers pulled a young man from the river who had met his death by drowning. Sheila was worried and her kids were horrified, but she kept them calm and after everything ended, they wound up having a great day.
I was reminded of this story because my first question about the drowned Gypsy girls is, what did the journalists expect people to do? Stand around and gawk at the covered bodies? Line up in a procession behind the coffins as they were taken away? Leave the beach and sit at home worrying about it? Take pictures?
And, if it was such a sensitive matter, why didn’t the police clear the area of the sunbathers?
I apologize If I’m coming across callous. I’m not sure why I have such a strong reaction to their reaction.
I can see if people were lounging around laughing at the incident, or horsing around pretending to drown i the sea while the bodies were taken away. And it’s not like no one called the authorities to take care of the situation – I mean, they weren’t sitting there looking at bloated bodies.
The two pictures accompanying the article are certainly not indicative of their opinions. The first one is of two kids sitting a short distance away – OK, I wouldn’t be sitting that close, but why weren’t the bodies cordoned off somehow? And they don’t look as if they are enjoying themselves; they look like they’re talking about what happened. And finally, they look American – so they probably took a bus there and maybe were waiting until the next bus to come. You don’t know what they’re doing, and it’s unfair to attribute an attitude to those two kids if they do not provide quotes from them as well.
In the second picture on CNN’s site, a coffin is being taken past a line of sunchairs. I see the knee of one of the sunbathers. That doesn’t support their story. If anything, it brings me back to my original opinion – that the authorities should have cleared that section of the beach.
Me? I wouldn’t leave the beach. We didn’t when I was little, and our neighbor was severely injured by a blowing beach umbrella. The beach was my respite when, after 9/11 when I was stuck in Anzio, I simply couldn’t watch another second of the horrors on my television.
I just don’t see the point of their outrage. Can someone shed some light on this matter?