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I was born on Olympus, to my father a son.

Updates are slow due to Internet in rural Sicily being a fairly scarce resource. This is a bit old and much has happened since, but life is waiting.

On the work front, I have been short-listed for the job in Mexico City. This means I need to submit my thesis in a narrow window, as Ken has had to write a letter swearing solemnly that I will finish by a solid deadline, and while the man is many things, I don’t want to be the one to make him a liar.

First forays have been made into Magna Graecia, to the 2,500 year-old Elymian ruins of Segesta, far out in rural Sicily. This consists of a Doric temple, the remains of catapult battlements, scattered town remnants and a large theatre. The temple is on the edge of a ravine, the battlements and town up the side of a hill and the theatre at the peak, looking over a valley to a bay. The choice of location was inspired. In one of those random twists from this country I will never understand, despite the sign behind her head advertising the cost of entry as 12 Euro, the ticket lady gave us free tickets. We did not complain.

After several hours of hiking about we headed back to the train station, which was really just a single line and platform attached to an almost deserted diner that did not sell tickets and didn’t seem connected to the rail line in any way. At 12pm when we arrived we had found there were no trains back to Palermo, and when the train we were going to catch to the next town in the hope of returning from there to Palermo didn’t come, we discovered that due to being a Sunday there was only one more train for the day that may or may not come, many hours later. We pulled out the three conveniently placed plastic chairs, Marco pulled out his guitar and we spend the next few hours in this abandoned corner of the world, in the sun, watching sheep run through vineyards (a sight akin to watching fleas jump through carpet). Surprisingly the train did come, and we hopped from train to train several times until we got to Palermo, never managing to find a working ticket machine or counter. Trenitalia, I will remove 7 Euro from the debt you owe me for unprovided services.

Palermo, while the central core remained intriguing, was starting to grate, what with the sound of fireworks every night and before dawn every morning, the poxy hostel we were in and the rest of the city being quite ugly. Thus, after finding the main art museum to be closed, Rob and I set out to Agrigento to meet Marco, who had parted ways with us somewhere between Segesta and Palermo. Palermo has however given birth to a new meme: a vendor at the crypts with a practiced London accent “has a very niiiiiiice book, about Sicily, in English. It’s a very niiiiice book, a verry niiiice English book”.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 3rd, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Best of luck with the Mexico opportunity Paul! Can you give a brief outline of what it would actually involve? Perhaps you should start boning up on your Spanish eh? I've heard it's not too difficult if you already have a grasp of either French or, in your case, Italian.

I'm not sure if the image is right, but the vision I have in my head of the three of you sitting at the station, just waiting and guitar pluckin' is something that wouldn't be out of place in the old American west. Tumbleweeds, chewing on grass reeds and the like. Was it as relaxed as all that, or more just frustrating cursing the Italian train system once more?
Oct. 6th, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
That is awesome about Mexico! Ah...the land of socially acceptable napping in the afternoon!

Matt came home to watch what was a good grand final (if you didn't support Geelong!)We haven't really spoken about it. I think it has cut him deeply :(

Oh well, there is always next year!

Oct. 6th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Awesome!
That was from me, Allison :)

Take care!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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