After my time in Linguaglossa had been cut short, due to irreconcilable differences, I no longer had a firm plan of what to do next. The Brits, had come to stay in Italy for just one month & already nearly three weeks had passed since they'd arrived. They were in Italy for a break, before heading out on a year long travel exploration, around the world, starting in Vietnam. As we all were seemingly without a fixed plan, the three of us hopped on the earliest bus to Catania.
Going back to Catania for the third time, felt odd. I had seen too much of that town. Once there, the three of us went off in search of thrift shops, stopped for coffee & then took refuge in the train station, equipped with a loaded panini. We caught the train to Siracusa in the afternoon, after the Brits managed to secure us an apartment in Ortigia, through AirB&B.
I was going off-plan for the first time in this trip. This both excited me & scared me a little. I have to admit that I am one of the least organised people around, however, I don't do well at 'going with the flow'. I like very much to know what I'm doing & I no longer knew anything at all. I tried very much to just 'be'. The Brits seemed to be very good at that & so, the three of us shacked up in our apartment & went out for pizza, when we couldn't figure out how to work the oven.
The following day we swapped apartments, for a better one in the center of town, equipped with a TV that was language adjustable. Once moved in, we spent our days sightseeing, snapping pictures, lazing around, stopping for beer & gelato, reading books & eating more pizzas.
My favorite thing though, was the morning food market in town. Fruit, vegetables, formaggio, vino, pesce. Everywhere you looked, there was something beaming out at you! This was the best place to go for brunch. Everyone wanted to give us a taster of what they had to offer. Fresh ricotta, drowning in olive oil, seasoned with garlic & thyme & still warm. Chunks of mozzarella. Tiny plastic cups filled with red wine. All shoved in your face, begging to be consumed & I did. I had a piece of everything!
The three of us were coaxed into a family run deli, where they made the biggest, most delicious paninis, for a mere €2 each. Inside, they were filled with mozzarella, olives, sun dried tomatoes, prosciutto, fresh tomatoes, grated salted ricotta & drizzled with olive oil. To die for. We bought some of their ricotta too, with the garlic & thyme, a snap at €4. This is why I came to Italy, I thought!
Alas, this break from the plan had to come to an end. The Brits wanted to explore Sicily more, before they headed off on their travels & although I would have happily stayed with them for the duration, I sensed they were ready to have some time alone together. The three of us spent an entire day in a coffee shop, abusing the WIFI & after a few emails, I managed to find an olive grove that needed help & that I could go to straightaway.
The night before I left, we ate dinner together in the apartment, stayed up late talking & then finally said our goodbyes. In the early hours of the following day, I got up, got dressed & crept out of the apartment & walked the twenty minutes down to the bus station.
I had really enjoyed my time with the Brits & I would miss them. Both had grown up in the country, much like myself & later moved to London. After leading the usual heavy London lifestyle, they had given it all up, careers, home, everything, to seek a new perspective. A better way of life.
I felt, although we were different, in some of our opinions & our upbringing, that it was easy to open up to them. To be searingly honest about myself. I think, when you're traveling, especially for long periods of time, being in countries, whose languages are foreign to your own, it becomes very isolating. It is not until, you meet someone that speaks your language, that you realise, how much you really need to be able to express yourself. The amount that you learn about yourself over a period of time, is overwhelming & needs to be expressed, in order to be processed. You need that outlet & you also need the outsider's perspective, so that you yourself can gain perspective on what you've learnt.