Monday, March 14, 2011

poetic postman

One of my favourite institutions in this town, which is backward in so many ways, is the poetry-writing postman. Always in good humour, a tall handsome man, tanned from his mornings on the scooter bringing the mail – apologising when it is obviously a bill – he whistles and sings as he goes about his work. He passed me this morning as I was having coffee with bambino, and raised a finger as he remembered something, after flashing his winning smile and wishing me a buongiorno. ‘Signora, I have a parcel for you! But I will deliver it to your house!’ It seems I am the only person who gets parcels so regularly in Milazzo. He never leaves it at my house, as it is slightly off the road, preferring to ring my in-laws’ bells, since their house is right on the street, so he doesn’t have to get off his moto. And he once brought the nonna a book of his poetry. Fantastic. Where else would you get such a personalised postal service? It almost makes up for the stinking, overflowing skips.

On my way home, as I struggled up hill, the ery steep hill up to the borgo, two men ahead of me turned round to offer their help. They lifted the front of the stroller despite my assurances that I would make it on my own, and whizzed me and bambino up the long steps to the borgo. It worked out sorer on my arms, though, since I had to keep the back end of the stroller held high to avoid banging it off the steps. I ended up more breathless than ever at the top of the steps, with the rest of the steep incline to negotiate alone! But it was very kind of them. You appreciate these gestures especially when what you usually find it a huge jeep sprawled over the zebra crossing and massive kerbs on either side.

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