Saturday, December 26, 2009

Spanish visitors 3/09/09

Finally September but the heat is still drastic. Everyone is tired of it. Everyone is exasperated. They keep talking about how August usually brings storms and the weather breaks but so far none of that has happened. Our house is still a greenhouse at night, the restaurant is still a sauna, the kitchen a furnace. I don’t know how the cooks bear it.

Yesterday la cuoca was off with me because I left a note on various things to be done among which to clean under the cookers as requested – they left the stuff there even though I had asked them to clean, the clams and the bits of beans were still there. So unhygienic. You can’t even ask them to do their job but they take the huff. The problem is now la mamma is no longer there to do all the dirty work. The mousses were off on Sunday; I tasted a few and they were acidic with little condensation balls on top. How do they not see this?

What does the Italian state do for Sicily? Nothing, said the group of espanoles from Valencia. They were marvelling at the fact that the Sicilians are all nationalists as well as ‘regionalists’, and the fact that it is polluted and dirty and the tourist attractions are not well looked after and exploited. Nothing works here, and the Italian state does nothing for Sicily. They were hilarious when they talked about the driving in Palermo – totally illegal they said. Their local friend lead them down one way streets where in Spain you would get a big fine if not crash into a car going the right way. The three-lane roads in the centre where five lines of cars were driving. The way a car would start edging towards you from the left and you would immediately go to the right but there would be a car there too and you would close you eyes and wait for the squash but it never happened. And mio marito can’t understand why I don’t drive in the town centre here in August with all the angry drivers and overcrowded streets! The filth in the Vucciria market they said, produce all thrown around to each other and to the ground. The dodgy people hanging around like at a souk in North Africa. And we are Spanish, used to this kind of ‘rollo’, they said laughing. A little lift in the middle of the full-on Sicilian summer. I put on ‘los Chichos’ for them, a 1970s flamenco rock band and they couldn’t believe it. They gave me loads more Spanish music and rumba to check out on youtube, which I’d love to play in the bar.


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