Maltesers in Palermo
Three years ago, I went on an impromptu trip to Sicily with a group of Maltese people I had never met. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in 15 minutes flat.
The friendships struck and the memories made will last a lifetime, and the pictures barely do them justice, but I'm going to do my best to recount nine days of bliss and pure freedom. Here goes!
A good friend of mine called me one evening and asked me if I was interested in joining a nine day exchange to Sicily in July. I had just finished some big exams, and University was looming darkly in the future. Being the risk-taker I am, I leaped at the opportunity, and so, two months later, there I was at the airport, looking for a group of people I had never met with whom to share an adventure.
At Palermo, we were greeted by a group of Sicilians who were easily the friendliest people I had ever met... of course, a few trips at the bar quickened the bonding process even more!
During the day, we explored the city sights. Palermo is Sicily's capital city and is a mine of culture, architecture, art and food, but sadly it is often smeared with a stigma which the whole Southern Italy is burdened with - criminality. Although we did not suffer any negative incidents, we did realise that our hosts would feel tense around some areas, and they did have some saddening stories to tell over a beer (or two).
Still, Palermo is a beauty and a testimony to everything Sicilian:
Malta and Sicily being so close to each other (30 minute flight, or a 90 minute boat trip), we did notice many similarities, from mentality, to general attitude, as well as art and food.
Of course, during our stay we also worked on projects such as cultural differences between our two peoples, as well as the similarities.
This blogging thing is making me all teary-eyed and nostalgic, so I'm gonna stop here today. More Sicilian-themed posts to follow soon!