Yesterday, I posted a glimpse of our everyday life in Sicily. When I sat down to write about our everyday chores, the list just grew and grew. So here is Part II of our Everyday Life. In fact, we are doing each of these chores today.
After a few months on the road, we have our own laundry system. Wherever we go, we designate the bottom drawer of the bedroom armoire as the laundry drawer. That becomes our hamper so easy to keep up with when we have a load of laundry.
We can only do small loads, and each washer here is a little tricky. I usually try to find the “delicato” cycle since I know that is safe and only to use cold water (once in Venice, I turned all of Frank’s t-shirts blue).
Once the laundry is finished, all Italian washers have some type of locking system and all are a little different. So the biggest challenge is trying to open the washer afterwards. Usually you have to unlock and wait a prescribed period of time – once I opened too soon, and water poured out onto the balcony and over the side on top of someone on the street below! I scurried back inside – that was during our first month in Florence – I’ve learned a lot!
No one here has a dryer – I think it takes too much electricity. So we use the drying rack – we are lucky to have a balcony so everything dries a little faster. When we first started, I tried to hide my lingerie in the back – but now I just go full-on Italian and let them wave in the breeze with everything else. You can see just who lives in each apartment (and how sexy they are) by the laundry they put out!
Taormina has a strict recycling scheme. We have to keep 4 trashcans running – for paper, plastic, glass, and organic. (Of course, the apartment did not come with 4 trashcans, so we had to be creative.) A certain kind of trash is picked up every day before 8 am, so we have to keep track of which trash is which day and get up early (or if we are really daring – we leave out the night before).
You’ll notice the instructions say “Porta a Porta.” Taormina is a walled city with a gate (porta) at each end. So this means that these rules apply to everyone – door to door.
We Study Italian!
Every day, Frank and I both study Italian. He is a pretty good speaker, but I am a beginner: “Io sono italiano pochino” – “I speak a teeny bit of Italian.” I am better than last year – some of the numbers and greetings come more easily and I don’t have to think about them. And I can read probably on a 3rd grade level. But I am not good with speaking.
So we study each day. We have our own workbooks and a chapter book (I am still on chapter 1, while Frank is on chapter 18!). We also try to watch a little TV to hear pronunciation, even if we don’t really know what they are talking about. Commercials are the best because you can see the product and sometimes words.
And that’s just Italian – many people here speak Sicilian, which is different. Fortunately, Frank’s parents spoke both so he can understand and speak both. Waiters love it – they sometimes talk in Sicilian at first to test us, and when Frank understands, they light up and say, “Siciliani!”
So that is Everyday Life in Sicily- and we love it.