Wednesday, March 05, 2008


The water lorry, I am pleased to report, arrived at 9.15 this morning. You cannot imagine the relief I felt, reader and I nearly kissed the driver! After a good, long soak in an aromatherapy bath of teatree and olive oil gel plus a visit to Raffaele the hairdresser I felt able to face the world again.

The outside temperature today has been 18 C and it felt very pleasant indeed. However, I still shiver indoors! A student attending a class this evening was surprised that I had the bombola heater on [this gentleman is as terrified of the things as I am] and exclaimed, "But it's nearly 20 C out there!" Well, "out there" is not "in here" and I refuse to keep a jacket on indoors. I don't think the Sicilian students know quite what to make of this strange, Celtic being who is nearly always cold.

I do like the way Sicilians emphasise their salutations, as in "Signora, buongiorno" with extra tonic stress on the second word [instead of the more usual "Buongiorno, signora"] and usually accompanied by a little bow from the men. A few of these and I am quite set up for the day!

Now here's a funny thing, not really qualifying as a "daily doing" but I will include it here as it does come under the heading of "daily life": it is reported today that 24% of Sicilian families find themselves in financial difficulty towards the end of each month; 25% do not have enough money to meet medical expenses [Italy has a free health service, of course, but you do have to pay for some procedures, such as blood tests and there are minimal prescription charges]; yet 25% of Sicilian families bought a new car last year and there is a boom in car sales in the poorest areas of the south. Sicilians also spend 5% less on food per annum than northern Italian families [but it occurs to me that this may be because so many of them grow at least some fruit and vegetables] and a staggering 35% less on other consumer items.
My Sicilians are never boring!


Carole said...

I've been silent too long and finally decided to post a comment. I just love/adoro il tuo blog! Especially how you depict daily life in Sicilia e la gente.
I moved from Sicily as a teenager to the land of "opportunity" and I miss it so much as I get older.
Hope to meet you qualche giorno!

Dalla Sicilia al Midwest degli Stati Uniti.


Leslie: said...

It's been just a year since my daughter has not lived with me and my gas bill has been reduced $15.00 a month! YAY! Well, at least that $15.00 will go towards the utility taxes that went up by $35.

jmb said...

Thank goodness for the water arriving, you'd better order it again immediately. What a hassle it all is.
Is there not a private health care system in Italy as well? I was under the impression that there was a two tier system as in Britain, with some people having private medical care.

Claire said...

Your life is never boring either. You paint such a positive lifestyle even with intermittent water.

Whispering Walls said...

Did you read about that fake Ferrari factory in Sicily?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Carole, how lovely to meet you and thank you so much! That is so encouraging for me and it means a lot. Do you ever come over for a visit? It would be just great to meet!
Hi, Leslie. We just can't win, can we? Here the phone, electricity and TV licence cost less than in Britain but the gas bills are enormous.
Hi, jmb. Yes, hassle's the word. No sooner have you succeeeded in getting a delivery than it's time to try to get hold of them to arrange the next one. Yes, there's a private system in Italy but, as in Britain, most people use the State system.
That's good to hear, kissa. Thank you.
No, missed that, WW. Will have a look now. Thanks.

CherryPie said...

I am sure that was a much more relaxing start to the day for you :-)

Maria said...

I just love the romance of it all... the nodding of the heads the buongiorno's scusi (s) tutti! Sure there are money woes and everything and the economy is in the toilet... but with such simpleness as a free visit to the vet and a nodding of the head... it's as if the world for just a moment is an absolute paradise!!!!


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, cherrypie [thought I replied earlier but I am obviously losing it]. a much better start - thank you. Ciao, M. Yes, I love it despite all, as you would too!

Unknown said...

Its funny the priorities that put on the way they spend there money :-) Humans are very funny animals :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, mg. Yes, very strange indeed...!

Ardent said...

Welshcakes, I have never been to Sicily. I would love to go one day, but I am confused, if you could please explain. Why is it that the Water Lorry must deliver water, is it not available on Tap?
How much water does the Water Lorry deliver with each visit? And if I may ask how long does a delivery of water last and what is the price of water in Sicily?

All that aside I would love to be greeted by those lovely Sicilian guys each day, I would surely forget about the water shortage.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Ardent. I don't know why it has to be delivered! This is not the case in all areas of Sicily or even all areas of this town. 10 cubic metres or something are delivered at a time and normally this amount lasts 9 days or so. I don't know about the cost because - don't tell anyone! - I have not yet received a water bill! But if we get a private water carrier to deliver the charge is about 20 euros. Being greeted by the Sicilian guys does help!


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