Thursday, February 11, 2010

When in Sicily

The arrival in my Sicilian town, Acireale, was comparable with my recent visit to Milano’s Duomo. I sort of just stood there, gazing at it in stupor. And this kind of stupor isn’t restricted to the initial-reaction variety. Today I have my first real alone time, time to stop and remind myself that I'm finally where I want to be. I explore my surrounding neighbourhoods, running my fingers across the walls of the antique buildings, with nothing entering my realm of thought but YOU ARE IN SICILY. The enormity of being here, of what it means to me personally, is stubborn to sink in.

Little narrow cobblestone streets with Baroque inspired balconies. Bursting with flora and draped with freshly washed clothes. I watch cars rampage up and down these impossibly narrow streets and wonder how on earth they avoid scraping the sides along the walls. I buy gelato in briocche (BEST) from a corner in Corso Umberto. The gelateria man gives me about five times the standard amount as I tell him I want his preferred flavour. I must give cool Australian vibes. I peruse some shops with the all too appealing SALDI (sale) that's plastered across every window. Always lunging at my eyes.

The ocean, just a couple of blocks away (thank god)

I am so desperate to learn Italian – Oh the luxury to be understood.. to verbally contribute something worthwhile... In my free after school Italian language class (the first of many to come), I spend roughly three hours labelling pictures of random words in both English and Italian, like “boat” and “bricklayer”. The English teacher scolds me: “Boat! That not boat…eez ship!” I take a deep breath and long for an Italian lesson – Bruna style. Then get back to writing out nouns some more. “Again and again” the teacher says “Until you have memory".

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