19:08 saturday 2 september – palermo
it is a week and a half now since i decided the time had come to leave my friends on stromboli and take up gabriele’s invitation to visit palermo . having bid farewell to tommaso , britta , fabio and fabrizio in the preceding days i bought a ticket for the lunchtime hydrofoil and lugged my baggage one last time through the narrow streets beneath the blazing midday sun , accompanied by sasi .
off i sped , weaving between the neighbouring islands . but the crew omitted to mention , or i to glean , that for palermo i should change vessels at lipari . so it was i found myself docking some hours later at milazzo , an ugly industrial sprawl at the wrong end of sicilia . the crew was less than sympathetic to my situation but ill-humouredly established on my behalf that a train would be departing for palermo in quarter of an hour . a short ( and hilariously costly) taxi ride brought me to the station and i was back on route . oddly enough i arrived in palermo several hours earlier by this indirect route than i would have done by hydrofoil . i have since learned to recognise this as a characteristic example of sicilian logic .
my rerouted arrival set the tone for the days which have followed . one intense and unpredicted experience has followed another . most have been wonderful but a few have been quite terrible . my time now is limited as gabriele and i must be at his parents’ house for supper in twenty minutes so i shall be brief and write more later .
for now i shall report merely that within six hours of my arrival in palermo almost all my belongings , including my powerbook , had emphatically left my possession .
tomorrow night i depart for milano .