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Alright, well...i had pretty high hopes and expectations for Sicilia. i will say that from the very beginning. And i had some pretty cool experiences there i would have to say...starting from when i caught a cab from the airport to my hostel. my cab driver was a very animated man, who was incredibly sure of himself! he was maybe 30 or 40 something years old, and i did enjoy the conversation in the car on the way there very much!...even though my italian is still pretty gosh darn terrible, i had improved it enough to be able to have a conversation with him (so, i was pretty pleased about that actually!). when i hailed a cab and got in, i never expected (given my experience on the mainland of Italy) that i would also score a free gelato and be propositioned for a romantic date up some mountain or other from the trip! but thats what happened! obviously, i said no to the date (he asked me AFTER the gelato)...but, i was truely flattered all the same. And thus began the absolute tirade of free shit from handsome sicilian men!!!...seriously, i dont think a day went past in the 6 days i was there without somebody buying or giving me something for free, just to be nice for the most part!...twice it was for my affections, but anyway.

I decided to go for a wander along the Trapani port on my first night there, i was pretty exhausted from the commute...and...what should i see there, but a Pirates Of The Carribean style tall ship! actually, i could see it from my balcony in the hostel.

The 'hostel' that i stayed in was pure luxury...it had a huge deep bath, 2 balconies, MY OWN PRIVATE AIR CONDITIONING!!! and a 4 poster-bed!... and, it was just me! i thought it was a dorm kind of room like all the other places i had stayed in till now! it was right by the beach on one side, and the other side was the port where the trips to the nearby islands left from.

the second day i was there, i went to the islands Lavanzo and Favignana...which were both really nice. went swimming in the crystal clear water that looked like a postcard, had a look at all the touristy souvenier shops, and furthered my research on who has the best gelato in italy (still Venice haha!)

on my way back, i went for an involuntary wander (code for 'got hideously lost!'...because im special that way heehee!) and i happened to witness a nasty spot of road rage!!! hahaha! XD...they were going hung-DINGGER at each other!!! it was quite funny! lolz! XD...i kept on walking, now on the right track, and there was an art exhibit of Picasso looking stuff, and it was free, so...i deviated and went in for a look-see...little did i know that i would then become a muse for the painter who's exhibition it was!...he took my photo, studied me for a bit, and told me it would be ready for exhibition in a few months if i wanted to see the finished piece...unfortunately for me, i was going to be long gone =[ ... but, there you have it, ive been a muse for an italian painter!

I went to the medieval town nearby, called Erice, the next day on a day tour...visited the Castello di Venere (castle dedicated to the love goddess...i had to go heehee! ^.^)...also went to see the windmills and saltpans of Trapani, to the arcaeological site called Segesta, and took in the old Greek theatre and temple. Went to Vito Lo Capo to soak up the sun for a while, and watch the old men playing checkers in the restaurants; and Castellamarre del Golfo...another closeby beach town with a quaint atmosphere. The rest of the time, i kind of just wandered around the small narrow streets...taking photos of millions of doors haha!

I *meant* to go to Selinunte (to hang out with Thom's cousin at Bar Penguino), Mount Etna (for the volcano), Taormina (for the Arts festival)and Messina (where my dad was born)... and even to some of the islands off the coast of Messina, but...(and not for the first time!) i cursed Italy's shitty shit-shit public transport system. i was going to hire a pushy or a vespa, but...after seeing the display of road rage a few days earlier (between an OLD LADY and an OLD MAN!!!) I chickened the hell out! haha!...so... i didnt make it to those places =[

i think that by this stage, id started to get someting like 'traveller's fatigue' or something?...where, everything just seemed too hard to commute to, and i was exhausted just thinking about how i was supposed to get there. of course it didnt help that, whilst Sicilian people are a MILLION percent more helpful and friendly compared to the mainland Italy, when i asked for directions - particularly to get to Selinunte - which, really shouldnt have been that hard because its not that far away!!! - they sent me on a wild goose chase  =P... i caught a bus to way out yonder someplace - on the directions given to me, and it ended up being completely completely wrong, and i had to catch TWO different buses to get myself back to my hostel in Trapani. just goes to show, if you ask someone for help, and they arent very obliging, and they just want to get rid of you...DONT follow the directions they give you! heehee! So, I was in a foul mood after that, and gave up and came back to my luxury apartment and had a bath and listened to utube's of Shakira.

It was this day that i faced my BIGGEST phobia of all time (cockroaches) as one scurried over my foot, when i was in the bathroom!...i didnt call the guy at reception, and i only screamed like a girl for about a minute (till i got dressed and found a shoe). when i found the shoe, i found the deadly disgusting cockroach shortly after, and tried to deal with it myself - seriously, i was getting the cold sweats just looking at the damn thing!...then, after about two hours of me staring at the roach, and the roach staring at me (yeeeeah...it was a face-off!...i challenge you to a duel!!! haha! XD) from my position (standing on a chair), i plunged my shoe at it, and it squished, and its guts made a little smear...and i thought that was progress enough for a couple more hours! i came back about an hour later, and pushed the dead critter to a corner with the towel stand (i wasnt going to touch it - eeeew!) and got a serviette and wiped the guts away and flushed it down the toilet!...major achievement guys, MAJOR! =]

i decided to wander the nearby streets in the daytime the next day, and, lo and behold, a handsome Sicilian saw me walking, and offered me a lift on his motorcycle...why not?! i hopped on, and he dropped me at the busy part of the port (where i actually wanted to go! saved me a 25 minute walk actually!) and he offered to make me pasta for lunch...in his apartment...at least i had sense enough to know his intentions towards me screamed "suss"...usually, i cant tell when someone is trying to pick me up hahah!...it was tempting though...i was totally starving! I said thank you, and waved him goodbye...started my tradition of wandering in a daze (as i do so often) in a little bit of shock at how nutto the guys here seemed to be going for me!...i couldnt understand it!...if i was my usual horrible casper, milk bottle legs complexion - or even if i was still a lavender blonde! - i could maybe see how i might be a bit exotic looking to these guys...but, here i am...black as the ace of spades from all the sun i've been getting, and with dark hair, and i seem to be getting all this attention?...weird =P ...

...so, of course, yet ANOTHER Italian gentleomano wakes me from my thoughts and my daydreaming and my wandering and starts talking to me...he seemed nice, and he was helping me with speaking better italian, so, i continued talking and walking with him...then, he spies this outfit in the window, and abruptly turns me - steers me - into the Dolce & Gabbana shop...i protested - "no, no, no - i cant look in this shop, because, if i try something on, i will love it and they will take AAAALL of my money! best to keep on walking!" hahaha!...but, he wasnt having it...to shut him up, i went and tried on the outfit he saw in the window... it was completely and totally me - but, it also cost an arm and a leg ($315EU!!!) so, i got changed quietly disappointedly, and when i came out, he had paid for it!!!...feeling trapped, as he'd already purchased it, i took out my wallet to reimburse him...and he looked stricken!...seriously, it was like i had slapped him in the face and called him a dirty word!...so, i put my wallet back in my bag feeling a bit weirded out by todays happenings...and he insisted - not asked - but insisted - to buy me pasta for dinner. after dinner, we said our goodbyes, and went our seperate ways. i was worried he was going to want a little something extra for his money - which he wasnt going to get - but, there was no mention of anything like that! he was just being nice! =]

So, that was my experience of Sicily!...next time i go, im resolving to not be a chicken (heehee!) and hire a pushy or a vespa and not rely on public transport!...have to go to Sardegna too next time :)...

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