If you look up how long it should take to drive from Catania to Taormina most sources will tell you it should take about 45 minutes. Should. However, B&B took easily twice that amount of time and yet still had a sense of accomplishment at arriving alive. Blonde had been the designated driver due to an assessment of her driving habits. That sisterly assessment relied primarily on the term “you have the biggest balls”. Balls or no balls Blonde had never previously experienced what she quickly dubbed “rectal driving”. To describe it semi-politely the driver behind you is so far up your butt that they appear to literally be in your backseat when you (unwisely) look in the rearview mirror. And to further clarify, this happens even if you and the other car are the only two cars anywhere to be seen on a multi-lane highway. Sicily is the land of automotive proctology.
As we rounded the bend into the town of Taormina we began to look for a parking space. This was not going to be easy. Where did these people expect tourists to park? Finally we were delighted to find a free spot on the hill leading back out of town. Blonde demonstrated her impressive parallel parking skills, we checked signage to ensure that we were in a legitimate parking space and walked into town.
It was a rainy day which caused some sorella sulking as to how the views weren’t all that great so we may as well just eat lunch, do a little shopping and leave. After executing two thirds of that plan and returning to the car we were amazed and outraged to find that it had been booted! How could this have happened when we had carefully checked the signs? Glaring residents began to emerge from their homes and gesture (as the Sicilians are so wont to do) at the sign we had missed. It said (at least as far as we could figure out) that we were in a residents’ only parking space.
Blonde lives in Boston and is the self-appointed enforcer of resident parking permits being displayed or dire consequences following so even she wouldn’t have knowingly violated that rule. Brunette lives in a rural area where you park in your driveway or garage and don’t need to read signs to see if you’re allowed to be there. But this sign was completely covered by a leafy tree and we hadn’t seen it.
So now we were indignant that those people had tricked us and those people were beginning to form an angry mob. OK, most just gave us a gesture indicating that they’d had a relationship with our mother that we had not previously been aware of and “the mob” was really a grumpy old man across the street. He had the stunning combo-pack of a Sicilian glare and an American style cascading pot-belly fully exposed for the viewing pleasure of the public.
As our drama unfolded the corpulent crab finally realized, via our elaborate pantomime skills, that we not only hadn’t seen the sign but were total morons. And one of us was a blonde which is automatically massive bonus points with any man in Sicily. The man now morphed into being our helper and conveyed to us that he would call the car-booting men and have them come help us. Bizarrely that is actually what happened.
A truck with men and traffic cones suddenly appeared. They removed the boot after we paid a hefty cash ransom, and showed us that we should have parked in one of the, um, car parks, right on the outskirts of town and taken the free shuttle into town. So that was where “these people” expected tourists to park! In the well marked car parks we had breezed past while complaining about the lack of parking. Oh.
While this drama had been playing out the rain had ended and the sun emerged. B&B took the shuttle back to town had a lovely day and evening and realized that the habit of heads in rectums was not solely the domain of Sicilians.