Sicilians are breathing more easily (even me!): gas stations refilled their tanks (!!!), then refilled Sicilians’ tanks…and are empty again. Yes, many of the gas stations pumped out the balance of their refill, but in the coming days and weeks normalcy should return. Lines at the gas stations were hours long, and many waited only to be turned away when the supply ran dry. I ran past this gas station, and it was still “esaurito.” Yet, the trucks on Viale Cristoforo Colombo are gone, a clear indicator that the strike is over and protesters are turning their attention to Rome.
(Uno) 1. While I’ve enjoyed the drama of the sciopero, as well as the additional vocabulary lessons it has offered, I am happy that there is some reprieve offered. I fear nothing will come of the truckers’ efforts, however that remains to be seen. At the very least, these workers were heard by the public, if not by the state of Italy up in Rome.
(Due) 2. Maureen O’Hara! I know her as Maggie in The Parent Trap (original). She co-stars in Rio Grande, which we watched tonight (a Western, and didn’t do much for me, but then again, Westerns aren’t my thang).
(Tre) 3. The prospect of more Italian sciopero drama! Office rumors tell me that a national fuel strike is supposed to start sometime this week, and there is a transportation strike scheduled for tomorrow (???), and a national transportation strike scheduled for Friday (27 January). That means that airport personnel are scheduling four hour chunks of time when they will not be working. Of course, this will wreak havoc on the flight schedules. I’m glad I am not traveling next weekend. La Sicilia says there will be no more fuel strikes for at least a few weeks.
(Quattro) 4. Fuori! This means “outdoors” or “outside” – and I spent most of the daylight hours “fuori” today. The sun was out all day, so I made the most of it by reading in the sun, playing with the cats on the terrace and going for my long run around the neighborhood. I checked out the gas station (still “esaurito”), and ran down to the duomo (main church) in Acireale. (Say it “ah-shee-ray-all-lay”).
(Cinque) 5. New military jargon. Pencil-whip. It is perhaps specific to the Air Force (?) – and it essentially means “rubber-stamped.” As in, “Captain Tomas pencil whipped the contract” – meaning he signed it without really reading it. Throw it into your next office water-cooler-convo and let me know how it goes. If you’re really daring, you might say “Pencil whip that shit!” the next time you pass something to your boss for a signature.