Crowd at the Bus Stop in Modica
No, this isn’t your normal crowd at the bus stop. The happy bunch of bus travellers you see here are schoolchildren obviously eager to get to their hallowed halls of learning. Or just overjoyed to jostle together like puppies.
Any teacher anywhere in the world or, for that matter, any school bus driver, can tell you that teenage schoolkids can raise a racket from hell but, when they’re all yelling Italian (and I mean yelling) to each other, and on their phones, the din is indescribable.
How I miss my grandchidren!
This photo below is the normal crowd you see at bus stops in the early mornings.
Notice the lone woman, in red, standing well back from the group of men? I’ve learned to do this too. When in Rome (or Sicily) … you know how it goes.
But let me tell you about the countryside of South East Sicily.
So much of this region reminds me of my own part of Australia.
I’ve seen country like this from the train window on the way to Ballarat.
There’s a lot of patchy brown soil and old abandoned farmhouses. In Sicily, these farmhouses are made of stone and they’re missing that chimney that always remains in forsaken country farms in Victoria. Still, I’ve seen similar use of stone around Castlemaine.
If not for the palm trees and the papyrus, I could be at home.
The small towns that the bus went through looked like small half-empty towns anywhere, those towns which have been left behind. A few houses near the railway station (now closed), and those shops you always find along a highway.
In Sicilia, those shops are Tabachi, with signs announcing that they sell cold drinks, hot food, cigarettes, stamps, newspapers, magazines and, in big letters, that you can have your phone recharged.
These little sort of general stores I saw from the bus window all had a row of plastic chairs out the front, complete with a handful of locals and a dog.
No Rotary or Lions Club signs, though. Instead, shrines to the Madonna.