“Mummy, why are the baddies English?” my son asked me last week. He was watching “Rio”, a cartoon film about parrots in which the bad parrot, from the Brazilian jungle, inexplicably talks with a very posh English accent. “Well, it’s just one silly cartoon,” I reassured him. Then he listed all the English baddies he … More So you’re Sicilian. Are you in the Mafia?
A wonderful guest post called Sicily vs. England, written for my blog by Pecora Nera, turned out to be so popular that it inspired another great Sicilian blogger, Rochelle Del Borello of Unwilling Expat, to write this article – Sicily vs. Australia – for my blog. ***** The beauty of experiencing different cultures is seeing how they … More Sicily vs. Australia
Until recently, in my part of Sicily, owning an iPhone was so cutting edge and high-tech that it was basically one step away from being an astronaut. In a culture where speaking is impossible without bilateral full-arm gesticulation, it was fairly obvious that talking to people using just two thumbs would feel far too restrictive. … More Big Brother Is Watching You
This afternoon we went for a walk around central Palermo. In Piazza Politeama we saw these fellows. The man at the bottom was sitting cross-legged on a glass tumbler. All along Via Ruggiero Settimo there were buskers playing drums and guitars, there were fire-breathers and jugglers, there were men on stilts making balloon animals for the … More Multicultural Sicily: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ridiculous
In Sicily, they eat this: It looks like baskets of fruit, but it is all made from martorana, which Sicilians will rush to tell you is nothing to do with marzipan. Martorana is made from ground almonds, sugar and a little water, nothing else. Since Sicilians refuse to use anything except the freshest organic almonds, … More What do Dead People Eat?
I have been back in Sicily for a month and I’ve only just got my head together well enough to write a new post. After three months in the quiet English Cotswolds, I was suffering from extreme culture shock. I realised how much I love this place, and I also realised that having dozens of Sicilians … More Buying a house in Sicily! Where they cost 1 Euro!
In Sicily, if you open your mouth and say something about the Mafia, if you just pronounce the word Mafia in public, the reaction will be sharp intakes of breath all around you and horrified silence. It is a social gaffe even more hideous than meeting your new mother-in-law with your flies undone whilst going … More Padre Puglisi has been Beatified. Can we PLEASE talk about the Mafia now?
Sorry I haven’t written any posts for so long. I’ve been too busy mopping up puke. My little boy has vomited almost every day for the last three months. The house smells like a bleach factory, and I am buying new mops from the local hardware store so often that the cashier there thinks I … More La Traviata and the Italian Art of being ill Dramatically
This is not something I am writing on a whim. Fair enough, yesterday I went through the trauma of supervising my seven-year-old son while he did his Italian Grammar homework. This was not only traumatic because I didn’t know the right answers. It was also traumatic because he was tired, bored, and doing all he … More Stop Giving Children Homework NOW!
I electrocuted myself yesterday. I was cleaning the toaster and I forgot to unplug it first. That’s what having a seven-year-old with verbal diarrhoea and real diarrhoea, both at once, can do to your mental faculties. Whilst emptying the equivalent of three whole loaves of bread, transformed into burnt offerings, out of the bottom of … More The Top 5 causes of Death in the Home: Doing Housework
Yesterday, someone in Belarus hacked into my Facebook account. What did the Slavonic sod want? What did he find out about me? I have images of him in my head, in his standard-issue East European shell suit trousers, toasting his friends with a bottle of Stolichnaya in one hand and a samovar full of beetroot … More We Sicilians Want Some Privacy, Capeesh?
A while ago, I asked my son what he wants to be when he grows up. “I want to be fat,” he answered without hesitation. “Like the Daddy in the Simpsons,” he explained. “Like Obelix the Gaul,” he emphasised. “Like him”, he exclaimed in delight when he saw Japanese hammer thrower Koji Murofushi in the Olympics. … More Are our children beautiful enough?
“I can’t wait for the leaves to turn red and golden and purple when Autumn comes” my little boy announced a few days ago. “Er, they won’t go purple” I said. “Yes they will,” he insisted. “We’re doing Autumn at school and we wrote a poem about the leaves going purple.” Upon investigation of his … More Is Autumn EVER going to come?
Immigration is a hot topic in most developed countries. Apparently the Latino element in the USA turned out to vote for Obama in record numbers and are now asking for immigration policy reforms, to legitimise their not-so-legal relatives as formally recognised US residents. Olé! These people are mainly economic migrants, though. In Sicily, we get … More Have we got too many immigrants?