Excuse me mad hatter but could you brew up a poison to make these grandpa's young again?
Yes gentleman, there’s a new gal in town
As we unpack our boxes and start putting things where they belong at the huge castle like house in Alcamo, I wonder what this town is made of. It is a small village in Sicily, where everyone knows one another; people get married early and end up living here their entire lives. It is historical, quiet and quaint with cobble stone streets, back alleys filled with rows of houses with laundry hanging on the line. I feel I am almost in a time machine but the people are progressive in modern clothes. I decide to test the waters and wonder around the streets. I put on tennis shoes for a run and hope I do not get lost; I take my camera so I can take pictures of the street signs to get home.
Here I am, the only foreigner at least woman foreigner in sight. The town is full of old men! It must be a prerequisite to be at least 80 years old to buy a home here. I look around and there are groups of old men everywhere, hanging out talking on the steps, playing cards, drinking café, eating pastries, more talking and walking around. Every alley, every street there is a new group of grandpa’s sitting on the benches just watching life pass by. They are like small gangs or clicks that do not mingle with one another. I say hello in Italian to everyone. I can almost hear people’s necks cracking from staring at me. People in cars stop me to ask where I am from; the old men watch me and smile to each other saying “Who is that” in Italian. Luckily now I understand a good amount of Italian, so I know what they are saying about me. It is amusing and I laugh. More old men, and some younger men all of which have rings on their fingers say hello to me. The younger gentlemen attempt a conversation and a date but I decline saying they are married, no thanks in Italian and your wife might be mad. I have to find ways to amuse myself because no one speaks English. I need to learn fast if I want to make it. Sink or swim I say, but this could get fun….
The next man that attempts to talk to me I start saying ridiculous things to him in English. I tell him my uterus really hurts bad today, and I may have a bad case of gas as I smile, He smiles and shakes his head “Si Si uterus, uterus” he replies and asks me if I want a drink in Italian. The next old man that approaches me I decide to ask him if he wants to jump off a bridge with me, go skydiving and get married in all in one day, and if it is possible can borrow his wallet, I tell him I will return it when I am finished. He says yes, of course in Italian and then proceeds to give me a puzzled expressing when I try to reach into his back pocket for his Gucci wallet. “What? You said I could have it, no?” “Okay then, bye bye”
The staring and whispering never seem to end, but I smile and say hello. I am use to being an outsider now. Many emotions come to life when you are different. We fight and strive most of our lives to some how fit in to a group, find our nitch. And I have deliberately elected to throw myself into the outsider category, where I fit in nowhere. Except maybe with the orange faced women with a scary attempt to be a blonde that raided her kindergartner’s closet, she looks like a sluty umpa lumpa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I am totally into. It is as if you are standing around naked and everyone is in full jackets, mittens and ear muffs staring at you, wondering where the hell are her ear muffs? It is quite similar to what I suppose animals at the zoo feel like. “Ohhh look at the blonde curly haired one with blue eyes, she looks hungry should we feed it?” I wear a heavy skin, and do not let anything bother me. Most of all it is just curious gentleman trying to have a conversation or date. But, I seem to be quite popular with the gentleman. Where are all the women in this town? None of the old men are sporting around a grandma, what are they doing?
What I want is a hot young Italian boy to come save me, what I mean by save me is make out with me in the alleys just past the first congregation of grandpa’s. Eat, drink and explore Sicily with; instead I find pop-pop wonderland. I must be Alice and I am looking for the drink that will make these older fellas young again. It never hurts to dream.
So, until the next adventure I accept my faith and surround myself with a group of grandpa’s, workers and men and sit down to a hot, strong espresso….