Tuesday, September 25, 2007

BANKING ON THE SICILIANS

I am planning a quick trip back to the UK next week [I have some guest bloggers lined up so won't be shutting down here] so last Wednesday, I popped into my Sicilian bank to ask them to obtain a small amount of £ sterling for me. "Oh, we don't know", they said. "We'll have to ask the Banca d'Italia and they may not let us have it. Why don't you just take euros and change them there? It will be cheaper." That's as may be but I couldn't understand why they were making this normal transaction sound as if it was the most difficult thing in the world and I wanted to say, "For goodness sake, you can't arrive in a country without any of its currency!" OK, I know this is possible, but it can prove inconvenient and sometimes I have to run through the airport to get the Cardiff bus if my flight is late - there's no time to stop to get change. I refrained from explaining this to Sicilians who do not travel abroad, however, and, as I've learnt that you get nowhere with Sicilians if you huff and puff, but that you might get part of your way if you hold on to your pazienza, I just smiled sweetly and pleaded, "Please could you try for me anyway?" So we left it at that, with me saying I'd go back tomorrow.

The rain has arrived in Sicily today, bringing with it flying ants the size of aeroplanes, and as Simi and I were battling through sheets of the former and plagues of the latter this morning, passing the bank on our way, out rushed the manager, waving his umbrella excitedly: "Signora, signora! Le sterline sono arrivate!" [= "The sterling has arrived!"] He looked so pleased with himself and I was so touched that he'd braved the rain to come and tell me that I thought, "How could I have doubted my Sicilians?"

8 comments:

Ellee Seymour said...

You have learnt the secrets of their charm, I guess they don't get too many requests for sterling.

Let's hope we can chat at least during your visit.

What will happen to Simi, btw?

Janejill said...

Such a lovely story; hard to learn a new way of behaving but the result is more fun and pleasure for everyone. Yet, isn't it strange? we do slip back into the huffing ways so easily. hope it is not raining in Cardiff x

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I hope we do, Ellee. Simi is going to a nice boarding kennel where she has been before for the few days. [I hate that part!] Ciao, janejill. It probably will be - raining in Cardiff, I mean!

Lee said...

See, it pays to be nice...it pays to be patient! (Although sometimes it does take all our worth to remain so!)

Seems to be a few puns in there...I'm not sure if they are intended or not! ;)

I can understand your feelings over Simi...I'd be the same. I hate leaving my cats. I keep telling myself, to appease my own guilt and emotions that they will probably just sleep most of the time anyway.

Have a lovely trip, Welsh. :)

jmb said...

La pazienza was rewarded. I'm sure you'll be known as the Signora for whom we obtained le sterline forever after at that bank.
regards
jmb

Winchester whisperer said...

I thought for a moment he was associating the rain with England

Shirl said...

Your last few posts have told us even more about you, your past, what has made you who you are. Excellent, evocative writing. Thank you WL.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. Yes, I hate leaving her. That's why I won't go for more than a week. I'm like an anxious mother all the time... Hi, jmb. Probably! I hadn't thought of that, WW! Thank YOU, Shirl. You are very kind.

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