I think I may have inadvertently led people to believe I had a wonderful summer lazing around the beach and traveling around Sicily.
In reality I had a terrible summer, every time I tried to go to the beach it was friggin freezing and in August my mother in law spent the month in hospital at Taormina which meant I was helping out at my in-laws, taking 2 hour stomach churning car trips back and forth through the mountains to relieve my sister in-laws who stayed in hospital with my husband’s mother (trust me you don’t ever want to be left along in a Sicilian hospital!)
So summer was a hazy mirage of heat, family obligations and late night sleeplessness to get through writing deadlines.
I did manage to snap a few pics which will give you a sense of my summer on the road, it is nothing like last year (2013 was great with visitors and trips to Etna and Taormina). Here is what my summer looked like:
The road back and forth going from Montalbano, Linguaglossa, Moio Alcantara, Giardini Naxos to Taormina hospital.
Hot August Summer traffic outside of Giardini Naxos.
Where have all the tourists gone? The economic crisis makes itself felt in the seaside resort of Giardini.
Sicilians in their balconies and deserted streets at Giardini.
The crumbling and utterly depressing Taormina hospital which is far, far away from touristy Taormina.
True old fashioned Sicilian’s don’t go to Taormina for their holidays they get treated for cancer at Taormina hospital. They don’t go to Acireale for Carnivale they go there to buy second-hand cars in the acres of car yards.
This summer I became a true Sicilian, forgot about vacation time, rolled up my sleeves without complaining and did what was needed. Their tenacity is to be admired. These Sicilians are certainly tough but they never really truly enjoy their own island, which gives them a melancholic quality and why I hope never to be one hundred percent Sicilian.