When I first arrived in Italy a year seemed like a gapingly big amount of time. And now, three months later, it seems like if I blink too fast it might be gone.
Three months! Ye Gods, how did that happen? I have spent the last three weeks staying with a wonderful Turkish girl in Palermo. I was planning on going Wwoofing much earlier than this, but I arranged to go after the New Year, which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense actually.
So I spent my first Christmas away from my family.
We were invited by Senem’s boss’s to spend Christmas at their house which was wonderfully lovely of them and it was a simple affair. I made Moussaka and spiced chocolate brulee’s. We ate homemade bread, drank wine and talked. A friend of theirs, a stylish old turkish gentleman who spoke not a word of english arrived towards the end of the meal and we coaxed him into trying the aforementioned spiced chocolate dessert. He ate it with gusto and when he was asked if he liked it he motioned to his face and said, ‘Isnt it obvious?’
Made me feel happy.
It has struck me as humorous that I came half way around the world and still spent my Christmas without snow. But Christmas to me has, and always will be, about good food and nice company. It does not need to be an extravagant affair, only a enjoyable one.
And I will see snow eventually. Hopefully soon. That’s right folks, I have never seen snow.
On the penultimate day of the year there was a charity concert being held in a town 2 hours drive away and we spent the week trying to organize a lift. Everyone said maybe and perhaps and we will see how it goes. Friday arrived and everyone decided it was too far or they were busy or they had to stay home and wax their otters… so we said, fine, whatever, and caught a train 3 hours to the city which had the unlikely name of Barcelona PG. We henceforth reffered to it as ‘Fake Barcelona’. Not long after arriving it began to rain. So we danced in the rain. It rained on and off for the whole concert and we stuck it out like the adventurers of old, freezing and wet and dancing till our teeth were chattering. We finished at 1 am, dripping wet and cold to the bone but smiling. We arrived home at 5 am and fell promptly asleep. New Years was not fantastic (not bad, just not great) but I always seem to have a bad new years (no idea why) so I didnt mind.
Some of my other adventures from the last few weeks include; seeing the last King of Italy’s summer palace… Next to which there was a antique museum which had just opened a week before, curated by this nice looking gentlemen…
Being let inside a gorgeous old spanish Villa to explore and waltz secretly amongst the fading opulence..
Making Pizza in Senems ill equipped kitchen using a new recipe that I had never used before involved cooking the pizza in a frying pan with a no-knead dough. It turned out amazingly… Who woulda thunk it?
Dancing in the kitchen of some Transylvanian friends while drinking sangria after a ferocious game of Settlers of Catan…. And visiting the gorgeous castle-by-the-sea not far from Catania. It was a sad goodbye to these wonderful friends I have made in Sicily and if I have any say in the matter I will see them again. The saddest part of travelling is the continual good bye’s. But the memories and the moments make it all worthwhile…