Observations/Thoughts on Sicily:
• Sicilians often don’t speak English.
• People take siesta like Spanish, such that the city is DEAD between 2-5 p.m. but CROWDED afterwards. It’s been over a year and still, this phenomenon amazes me.
• Crazy drivers. They don’t stop at zebra crossing, so (as my Airbnb host said) you just need to be resolute and step out, starring into the drivers’ eyes.
• Pistachio. Pistachio dust on pizza, pistachio pesto, pistachio cream in pastries, pistachio gelato…
• Food in Palermo is cheaper than Catania.
• Museums are quite expensive compared to those in Spain and France.
• Like in Athens, you need a cardiologist’s paper to prove that you’re physically fit to use the gym.
• Swimming pools are rare in Palermo and expensive.
• No need to trust the local bus schedule in Palermo.
• People often don’t stamp their ticket after getting on the bus. My host said buses that run inside the city get check more frequently. So, if you travel outside… 😉
• Palermo is very dirty.
• Catania is also very dirty.
• Recycling is something new here.
• Palm-oil-free is a marketing gimmick. The alternatives aren’t always better.
• Gluten-free products are easy to find, with a range of brands and products to choose from.
La scuola adotta la città, literally “the school adopts the city,” is a program in Palermo since 1994, where students research on certain monuments/sites of the city and then give out tours to the public. This year, 102 schools and 81 places are involved.
Frankly, I had no idea about this event and had gotten annoyed by groups of school kids screaming in the streets, blocking the way several times. Today, I was just looking at my phone outside the Cathedral, when 13-year-old Claudia cordially invited me to join her for a free English tour at Palazzo Asmundo.
The tour was brief due to language barrier. However, I love that children from Palermo get to discover the treasures and history of their own city and present them to people of any age, gender and background. I think every city should do the same!
Posted in Culture, Italy
Tagged chilatour, chilatour18, Culture, education, history, Italy, La scuola adotta la città, palermo, sicily, students, tour, travel
Well, well, it’s true that I have been freelancing remotely for two years now and worked full-time, on-site for four months in between, but I have always considered myself on sabbatical.
Now, I am finally (trying to) seeing myself as a digital nomad, after signing the biggest contract since March, 2016 💃🏼🎉🎊
Really look forward to working on this UX/UI design project with my awesome team in the U.S. and Taiwan! 🌎
In the photo: Setteveli, or seven-veil cake from Palermo… like a knockoff of French opera cake😝😋
I’m in love with my Airbnb host. Too bad she left me alone in Palermo for her boyfriend in Mexico 😝😍📝🎁🍫
Posted in Airbnb, Food, People, Trivia
Tagged Airbnb, baci, chocolate, culturalexchange, hospitality, host, Italy, sicily, travel
My Palermo Airbnb host, Valeria, is a historian, who conducts research and sometimes gives lectures at universities .
One night after offering me a wonderful Sicilian dinner, she clarified some questions I had about Spanish history.
Valeria: Historians called the year 1492 “annus mirabilis,” like beautiful year… in one year, this Spanish couple fucked up three groups of people 😂
Me: 😂 Can I sit in your next class?
After having lunch with Sicilian Couchsurfing host in Noto:
Host: Would you like a coffee?
Walked into a cafe and ordered two espresso.
Host downed the shot in 5 seconds: Let’s go. Oh oh oh, you are still drinking, sorry!
I don’t eat pork or goose large intestine Chinese style, and I never like Turkish kokoreç (grilled offal wrapped in small intestine) for the strong taste. So when I saw Sicilian grilled lamb small intestine, Stigghiola, I thought I’d just give it a try to check off the list. But man, it was GOOD! The one I tried at Vucciria market was roasted to crisp with charcoal taste. My Airbnb host said I ate it like a pro hahahaha
Posted in Backpacking, Food, Trivia
Tagged chilatour, chilatour18, Culture, Food, Italy, Sicilian, sicily, stigghiola, street food, travel, vucciria