Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fishing boats and Pilates 3/11/09

The restaurant and bar are a lot quieter these days, so we have decided to close Monday to Wednesday. Such a difference after the stress of summer. This morning I sat by the boats at Vacarella, the fisherman’s port. Bright sunlight over the mountains behind the bay lighting up the sky blues and whites of the fishermen’s boats all hoisted up just out of the water. I passed the fishermen in their rolled up socks over their trousers, some in wellies selling plump silver fish, looked like all had the same stuff. Spilling the guts on to small tables, with cats snooping around for leftovers. Elegant motor boats with two mates hanging out together, on the tourist pier, and then a fisherman rowing out to the slightly bigger fishing boat and setting off, a lone figure at the helm. Silvery light on the water and a boat coming in was stamped liked a dark print on the horizon, one plump beer belly and a young boy went past, two dark figures in relief. The wakes from the boats sending back ripples so the boats roped in by the pier rode up and slapped down again on the water. The tinkle of their masts and length of the poles swaying against the blue sky.

Not a soul around and was just getting into my book, when two girls come along and chose the boat next to mine to take photos. When they saw me one of them said, ‘non รจ la moglie … di quello del bar’… and trailed off a bit as I turned round (‘isn’t that the wife of your man from the bar?’). How annoying. Spotted in what I had thought was a moment of privacy. I can’t go anywhere without being spotted. They’ll go home and say, guess who was there all on her own with her book sitting on a ramp, the Brazilian/ Spanish/ Irish wife of your man ... No one else here would dream of taking a book down to the port. Most rarely read, and no one likes to sit on their own here, Italians are like sheep and must stay in crowds. The fishermen got out their cards and sat under a large shady tree.

The gym was packed of course. We are trying out all the Pilates classes and all the gyms are packed. Italians LOVE the gym. There is nothing they like more than saying they are going to the gym. It is their religion. They never miss the gym. Partly because they have to pay the monthly fee and don’t want to lose their money, but also because of the image thing. It looks good to say you are going to the gym, it is like talking about the weather in Ireland, here you talk about which gym you go to, what the teacher is like, which classes you take, what time you go at, the kind of people who are in your class. The Brazilian teacher was in his orange capoeira headband and white top and tracksuit bottoms. The black shiny shoes were the give away that he was gay said mio marito after. There was floaty Indian music on. I found myself mentally correcting his Italian as he gave the instructions, which were short and fairly clear. Though the moves were quite basic, pretty basic stretching, while the man in the other gym did a more advanced level because the people went last year too. But he wasn’t good at explaining the moves and left out some vital things. Like where the hand should be when lifting the hips off the ground – in the centre of the back I asked? He prob hopes I won’t come back. I noticed now the Brazilian varied facciamo – faccio and fate and fai … when he used the singular tu form I put the plural in my head. And he would get destra and destro mixed up. Torna instead of tornate. I was imagining how I would do it if I was teaching a class. Not easy to be clear. The Brazilian made some jokes - a bit brusque perhaps for the Sicilians but they laughed anyway. Look at how you are sitting, all slumped forward and hands in the wrong place, he kept chiding one guy. Are you tired today? And another girl said, ‘ho mangiato il riso oggi’, sharing her lunch habits with the whole gym. But he said, riso, allora sorriso, and the girl laughed obligingly, and another girl looked at me and rolled her eyes a bit laughing. The whole pandering to the instructor. We have yet to try a girl in another gym. I still don’t think he is Mr Pilates.

1 comment:

  1. Italians are like sheep and like to stay in crowds - I have always thought it! Loving your blog

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