Well, back in Naples, back to fuming at the absolutely normal behavior exhibited by the natives on the funicolare. They cut in front of me and La Bimba then they turn to coo at La Bimba. I loathe them at those moments.
Us, them, me, them, me against them, will it never end?
I found the Sicilians, since we're generalizing here without fear or shame, very friendly, their cities clean, their food an overwhelming disappointment. I kept hearing that I was going to go wild for the food, that Neapolitan cuisine is one step below Sicilian, but instead I found the food too heavy, too salty, too extra virgin olive oily. There were some interesting combinations like oranges with sardines and pepper, and some frightening things like pig lip salad, oh yes, but overall la cucian siciliana did not hold a candle to quella napoletana. Or maybe we just ate at all the wrong places.
I want to return to Palermo and explore it and I want to return to Catania when it's not over 100 degrees F. It was 113 in Modica, a town just southeast of Ragusa that is so gorgeous, so Euro Arabo fantastic, that it was pity we couldn't stand outside for more than one nanosecond before becoming dust. We also had our best meal there, pasta with puree of fava beans, ravioli with the sweetest, gentlest ricotta, veal steak, and lemon granita.
On an unrelated note, I am winning the word race! La Bimba currently has more words in English than in Italian: baby, horse, fish, cheese, hello, ball, bubbles, vs. babbo, cane, grazie, ciao, and one other in Italian I can't remember. As for what she calls me, it's a cross between the Neapolitan mamma and the American mommy, so no one can claim it yet. It sounds kind of like mahmei. The point is I am winning.
How pathetic do I sound?
We were in Palermo for only a few hours, but we got to visit the Capella Palatina in all its mosaic glory...well, almost all...it was under quite a bit of construction. Then we got roped into a guided tour of the royal palace where the government officials work and The Husband commented in room after room how the politicians suck our blood. Other Italians on the tour agreed. When we got to the top of a flight of stairs where sat a middle-aged gentleman, a guard of sorts, The Husband said, "Are you one of the antiques?" The guard liked that. How does The Husband do it? He teases people and they laugh instead of punching him. It's quite a talent.
It's nice and breezy outside, even a bit of cloud cover. The wind is blowing our plastic furniture around the terrace. A lovely scraping sound. La Bimba sleeps. I try to tap into my writerly side. And as soon as I digest my cotoletta and fries, I will do some yoga...or maybe just take a nap. A prestissimo!