Italy, Palermo I - Gloss And Poverty Of The Sicilian Capital
To get from the heart of Europe to one of its southernmost corner is an experience that leaves in you a lot of different impressions. Normally I try to defend it, let me control the prevailing stereotypes about other nations, but I find that after their own experiences is sometimes really hard to resist.
Southern nations are famous for their “manana” approach, which means no rush anywhere and anytime. For this, it is a particularly peculiar fact that in the Sicilian dialect, there is no verb to express future time. If you understand English, I recommend you watch this video, in which Professor Phillip Zimbardo, known for his prison experiment that examines the perception of time and among other things, speaks also of Sicily (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3oIiH7BLmg). In this property, that to everything there is enough time to one side behind a poetics, and especially for those who are in constant carousel of different terms and obligations. However, if you like precision and reliability, soon, perhaps rather soon, you will see how here and there gnash teeth. This, however, discouraged and do not consider it rather as mental preparation, because one should take advantage of opportunities and learn and get to know other cultures and their ways of life.
After the arrival at Punta Raisi, airport located near Palermo, you are basically three ways to get into the city. You can try to get the train that will take you to the main Termini station Palermo in about an hour, the price per ticket is around five Euros. Another option is a bus that is also the final stop at Termini and you also go an hour, but the ticket should not be more expensive. A third way, which should be the fastest but also the most expensive is a taxi.
Palermo won´t leave you to relax from the first moment. Infinite number of people, cars, blowing, speaking and other industry and general chaos engages all your senses. At first fro you will be adventure just to cross the road, where cars are parked and how they want. You will find that pedestrian crossings are the backdrop rather than a functional part of the road, and so you go as you please. Do not worry, however, because at least in this respect, perhaps the Italians and Sicilians even placid angelic patience and stop, so you can walk quietly, without making honking or shouting something at you. Of course, do not be complacent and rather be careful always.
What many of you will get you that is the life, thru this city of 600 thousands of pulses. You have a permanent feel that something is always happening. Perhaps every thirty seconds, you will hear an ambulance ride around, you walk continually around various cafes and coffee shops, but also common around the house entrances, where, after hanging out all day people of all ages and keep endless chats. Now and then walk through a marketplace, where you will not know what to buy before. Juicy and sweet fruits like strawberries, apricots, cherries ... and who would not want to dig into the fantastic cantaloupe melon, which will exceed your wildest fantasy? Yes, everything you can find in stores here, but the taste of local fruits and other foods will easily disarms. And not only that. The market is waiting for you with a huge selection of fresh fish and other delicacies caught in the warm Mediterranean Sea, whose waters washed Palermo beach.
Text/photo: Maxim Kucer
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