Shopping (spesa) here is fun and at times difficult. I point and use hand gestures to help in receiving my fresh meat and bread. I like to hang around the dusty… small grocery isles and browse the new labels. There are only a few things which we can buy at the moment as the kitchen is to arrive domani. Ha. We get the usual fruits and vegetables, amazing cheeses that are so pungent and wonderful to the taste that I want to eat it like an apple. We buy bread, bread and more bread. All different shapes and sizes, I prefer the Spianatina made in Olbia, a town one hour from us. This bread is very similar to the pita back home, you can cut is in half and stuff the pocket with Italian delights. My favourite is local salami, pecorino cheese and a little mustard and lettuce and I’m set. Most mornings this is what I have for breakfast certainly not your traditional back home oatmeal type of thing but hey I like to mix things up a bit.
At times I find myself unsure what some things are and even if it’s fit for human consumption. Case in point: I’d been walking around this Costco type store totting a five litre bottle of water and some hairspray. I was in search of large pillar candles for the house and finally I came across white pillar candles encased in red plastic with a silver metal lid which had a hole in the middle and five smaller holes around the edge. Perfect, I knew the light cast from these candles would look great in the house. M. rounds the corner and the look of bewilderment spreads across his face, then shock then complete and utter horror. I try to explain to him that these candles will look great in our house and ask him what his problem is. He slowly begins to explain that these candles are for a funeral and funeral only, that you place them at the grave of the deceased. I told him I didn’t care and wanted to buy then anyway, and from the expression on his face I think he was ready to send me back to Canada. He said no and I said yes. He told me that should his cousins or friends enter this house they would cry “Oh Mamma Mia,” and go running from the house to never return. I looked at him with my big puppy dog eyes and pleaded one more time to which of course he said a positively no. We arrive at the cashier and I load my five gallon jug of water on the counter when I hear M. shriek in disbelief. I turn to see him reading the jug of water and I speak cosa? He looks up at me and speaks his accent music to my ears. “J., this is liquid for the car!” Turns out I had been lugging around radiator fluid. So now he likes to crack jokes to his friends about how I thought the radiator fluid was water and the red candles regular candles and had he drunk the fluid I would have had the candles to put on his grave. Yikes.