The night we arrived in Sicily, the sun had already set. Aside from the city’s glow and street lights, the land was dark. We couldn’t see Mt. Etna, we couldn’t see the lovely vegetation that is all around us, we could barely see straight after about 30 hours of travel. Finally, we checked into our hotel and the wooden shutters on all of our windows were closed. This functioned to keep out the street noise and light, and created a cozy feeling. Once we were sufficiently comfortable, Dave and I threw open the shutters and explored the balcony. However, the neighborhood was rather dark and we were rather tired, so we had no idea what awaited us in the morning.
As I woke from jet-lag sleep, I reached and stretched, I moaned and groaned, and I rolled myself out of bed.
And, whoa is me. This is what I saw:
The view is stunning, the orange tiles are a warm addition to the landscape and the rebar is, well, it is really different from anywhere I’ve lived in the U.S., though it is somewhat familiar from my travels in Ecuador and Mexico. The lot with the unfinished home has lovely fig and olive trees in the backyard, and an older couple visits them daily. There looks to be a garden tucked in there, too. We suspect the family ran out of money at some point (recent economic woes?) and will pick up the project when times improve.
In addition to the new physcial landscapes, I continue to adjust to the cultural landscape. We had a house showing this morning and Dave and I loved the home. While we were talking with the rental agent (an Italian national who works for the base), we kept missing each other’s conversational point, mid-stream. He kept talking about spending time in the garden after getting mad at work all day long, Dave and I kept talking about the gorgeous sea views at the apartment. He pointed out shopping malls and places for me to “spend the green” – I asked about language conversation partners and cooking classes. He kept going on and on about the shopping malls, I asked whether I could possibly walk to the panetteria and salumeria from the house. This caught his attention.
Ah, food. The heart of most Italians and even more Sicilians is food. Once we started talking about food, he listed places to get the best fish, pizza, cheese, homemade wine, other wine, beer, baked goods, bars (coffee bars), etc. It was like we were finally understanding each other. He brought up shopping malls at least three more times, but we had finally found a leg to stand on. Next step, actually lining up an apartment.