Monday, March 3, 2008

Special Guest Blogger

Today's Special Guest Blogger is Catania's leading Victim's Rights Advocate
Laurie Contreras

Please note the purse and strap in the picture, the last known photograph of the stolen goods!

I feel very honored to have been asked to appear in this guest blog and from the onset want to apologize for not being able to contribute at the level of my host.

I wish I had more time to write this, but it’s a beautiful, beautiful day and we need to be outside!

That being said, to sum up my feelings with a totally inaccurate word – WOW. 

First of all, my husband of almost 37 years, partner for 44 years, ceases to amaze me.  Not only did he casually start a load of laundry, while we were having conversation, but he began hanging out his previous load.  He did it with such expertise I had to sit down.  While gathering myself, he THEN proceeded to cook.  Yes, cook.  At that point I had to go to the bedroom and lay down.  It was just toooooo much for me to take in all at once.  Mind you, he did all of this in a manner, as though he had been doing it for the last 40 years.  Boy, are things going to change when he comes home.

As far as Sicily, everything that George has said when describing it is dead on but I actually think a little understated.  Of course you can’t fully comprehend it unless you are actually here, so come on down! 

Catania IS truly a unique place.  Very UNtouristy.  As GW says, “a working town.”  And George really fits in, as was shown when he took a pastry one morning to the two Marias who run the local dry cleaner.  They, in turn, gave me hangers, so I could unpack.  You would have thought he had lived here his whole life.

As I said, life here is so very different and I now understand the crazy schedules these guys have and reasons why.  With the places that sell food (the market and the restaurants) closing for “siesta” from abut 4-8:00 p.m., there isn’t anywhere to eat.  All of the guys have actually lost weight.  Although we readers of their blogs have seen countless “goodies” and fattening looking foods, they are not being consumed as often as you might think.  There are no three-meals-a-day.  They may have a cappuccino and gooey pastry in the morning, but then nothing until about 3:00 or 4:00, and then sometimes it’s only like an apple, a banana or may be a little slice of cheese.  Dinner will then be only a bowl of pasta or thin crust pizza at about 10:00.  That’s all!!  No lunch and no real munchies!!!  Quite an adjustment for me.  I admit to being hungry more often than I am used to.  Probably a GOOD thing!!!  I have never seen George each so healthy.  There are no cookies or chips in the apartment!  They tell me there will be times, like we had in Rome, when we will have the whole spread with multiple courses, but I haven’t seen that yet.  I am waiting with great anticipation.

As I said, Sicily is a very different kind of Italy.  I am particularly fascinated by their dress.  All the “young” people dress almost exactly alike and in dark clothes, mostly all black (imagine, no color!), with the exception of maybe a plaid or striped scarf.  They ALL wear boots, as George said, and even when it’s warm, they are bundled up because the calendar says it’s winter.  Yesterday we did see a few young ladies in very short skirts and no leggngs, so we assume that spring is close.  The “older” people on Sunday, put on their best, but appear to wear clothes from the 50s, complete with lots of furs.  It’s like a time warp.  The other strange thing, is that there don’t seem to be people who are in the age group between young and old (75+); like George and me.

The weather has been wonderful.  I hope it continues, as George and I are going to take a day (or two) trip tomorrow after we take Jason to the airport.  I have requested that we go to Caltanissetta (on our way to Agrigento), just to prove it’s not as bad as everyone says, and because we promised Michael D’Antuono, whose family came from there.  Jason is flying to Paris to meet his wife and will come back a day or two later.  It turns out that his wife, Christie, has been able to arrange it so she can live here for the remainder of time Jason is here.  I am happy to report that the apartment is much larger than I had expected and I don’t think the four or us will have any problem, with the exception of only one bathroom.

As you can tell, I could go on for a long time, because as usual, I have lots to say.  Maybe I will be allowed to post another entry, later in my stay so I can write about all the things I can’t think of right now.

To close, I will say that I am quite proud of both of us for the way we are handling yesterday’s “incident.”  Remember, the glass is always half full, not half empty.  Also though I am sure it will not soon be forgotten.  Thanks for all the good thoughts.  Miss you all – well, okay, not too much, yet.

Love, Laurie

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased that you two are living it up in Italy! Continue to have a fabulous time and let me know if you need Michael or I to do anything here in the states!