From Sicily with Love
It’s the end of October, I’m digressing, and my sister, Linda and I are going on a pilgrimage to Sicily. I’ve not been on a tour before but she has and said it would be fun. We left Texas via Newark, New Jersey (9 hour layover so we got a tour of NYC) to Palermo, Sicily. Twelve fun filled days seeing the sights with a stop in Rome to visit the pope. He was expecting me.
There were millions of people at that airport and I knew only 1. Linda said, “There should be a rule that if we are not on the bus (she knew from her experience) when everyone else is, the bus should just go.” Uh huh. We, unfortunately, were the two that everyone else had to wait on since we didn’t stay with the group. Group? I didn’t even know they’d left us! I hope no one heard her comment.
Father Tom’s suitcase came off the carrousel like it had been run over by a train. Only 1 wheel left, no handle, and the sides were crushed. Hope he didn’t have any holy water in there. After the third day in Sicily, some kind soul bought him a brand new red one and we took the old one since by backpack sprung a leak. The zipper broke. It was heart breaking. This same backpack has seen the world and back. Try to ask for tape in Italian. I couldn’t even use my Sicilian hand gestures.
During our trip, I learned lots of important things. Our tour guide was a very proud Sicilian, “No placea ona thisa planeta, Sicily isa the greatesta placea.” That Sicily was the gateway to Europe until 1492 (whoops. That was our fault), that Jackie Kennedy Onassis had some fisherman pants made while visiting her sister in Capris and those pants are called Capris, that all those Christians went underground (the catacombs) to celebrate mass when actually, it was 4 levels of burial plots created by some enterprising Sicilian, that those teeny weeny
tiles were put together by heathen slaves to make mosaics,
that you can’t eat olives off the tree, that the Mediterranean Sea is call Terranean Sea close to shore, and finally, that Pompeii people died of poison gas from Mt. Vesuvius. Yes, we walked our legs off!
You could sleep on the bus if it wasn’t for that Sicilian talking. We learned about the mafia, which I thought was a weird topic, although interesting. Was he talking directly to me and Linda. Well, yes. You better watch out, buddy! He told us to watch old movies about Sicily and the Mediterranean villages that line the coast. And that my last name-Sperandeo, is a fairly common name but not like Smith or Jones in America. I was thankful that America ended in an “a” so I didn’t have to hear him add it when he said it.
After we were full of that useful information, we traveled to Rome where the very expensive tourist shops were located. Pope Francis was indeed waiting for me and 10,000 other people. He talked for a long while, probably telling everyone how happy he was that I came. Can’t be for sure what greetings of gratitude he said, since he spoke in Italian but I know it was well received. I nodded my acknowledgement of his greeting as he buzzed past me in the Pope Mobile.
We arrived home November 11. Everyone promised to keep in touch. Linda and I were thankful that we didn’t know these people and would never see them again.