Thursday, December 10, 2009

Little fish in dangerous waters 28/06/09

The consulente di lavoro (accountant) called mio marito this morning to say he and his sister should come with him tomorrow morning at 8am to the IMPS office (pension contributions) to meet one of those inspectors who came on Friday to ask him to change the date of when the sister started working for us, and the number of days per week. They knew exactly the trouble they were getting us into when they wrote down the sister’s ‘statement’. The consulente says if the man won’t change it we will have to pay a massive fine. My suocero says they will always get you for something, no matter how hard you try to follow the letter of the law; that when they ran the locale they were fined for having a lid off a bin in the kitchen, and for not having the licence hanging on the wall behind the counter but rather leaning on the shelf, and they were big fines. And also for having live music on at 1.05am when it should have stopped at 1.00 am. I said, why don’t they go after the people in the oil refinery or big jewelry business or in local government, where there are loads of mafia schemes and serious avoiding of taxes. Ha, only the small fish they are after he said, the big fish always get away.

I checked the fridges; STUFFED - and we are closed tonight. Have they no brains at all. WE are going to have to specify exactly what they must do every day so they don’t over produce, because this overproduction leads to wastage; the aiuto cuoco does not seem able to grasp that concept. He costs us so much food. I can’t bear to think about it. There was a chocolate mousse all covered in mould. The mousse I tasted that made me feel sick because it was way too heavy – he had insisted he knew how to make it. Now I have mum’s recipe. There were hundreds of sliced strawberries all going off because of the acidity. A whole tortilla with an inserted slice – from the previous one I had told him to throw out? It is not clear. Masses of caponatina (Sicilian sweet and sour stew of aubergines and capers). You’d think it was feed the 5000. Lots of piquillo peppers stuffed with cream cheese and black olives; I had told him not to prepare them in advance, because the top of the cheese goes yellowy, and the olives addition is hi own mistaken idea – the piquillos are already tart enough without these rather acidic olives. I wonder has he even tasted them? He hasn’t a clue.

A jolly woman came by with her partner and two children, all very interested in ‘beautiful, scenic’ Ireland, and ‘passionate, colourful’ Andalusia. The woman said she much preferred the Spanish to the Sicilians, and especially to the people in this town, who are all unhappy, she declared, because there is something negative in the air. ‘Don’t trust anyone, not even your friends,’ she said, gaily. Well, it is not often you hear people speak so badly of their own townspeople. Not encouraging.


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