Living in a unfamiliar country and not speaking the language (at least not yet - ci sto lavorando), we run into lots of small things that strike us as odd, funny or just plain different. Also, For example, seeing a random sign in English that makes no sense (like "speedy poops" at the airport, advertising arancine. Not the best image to associate with food...).
In no particular order, here are some things that we've encountered:
1) When we told our landlord (who, along with his wife, is incredibly sweet and helpful) that our refrigerator door wasn't closing all of the way, he came over, took a look at it and asked Angela for some butter. He spread the butter on the lining, then, with Angela's hairdryer, dried the butter. I missed this whole encounter, but those who know Angela can probably imagine the look of disbelief on her face as this whole scene went down.
2) The aforementioned "speedy poops". Should I have said something to the guy behind the counter???
3) One of our favorite restaurants in Balestrate is a place called "Chicken's Corner." It's like the Kenny Rogers Roasters of Sicily.
4) When we moved into our new apartment, there was a sign above the toilet paper that read "Carta nel cestino. Grazie." Which I understood to mean, "Paper in the wastebasket. Thank you." Obviously, this caused us some consternation, until we learned that we could flush without worry. Apparently, the woman renting the apartment before us was slightly anal (really, no pun intended, Ang made me write it!) and didn't want her guests flushing their toilet paper, for fear that they might clog the toilet. First of all: Gross! Second: I think you need to rethink who your friends are if they are backing up your toilet so much that you need to put up a sign asking them to cease and desist. Seriously, though, Ang and I shared a brief moment of panic when we thought we were going to need a separate basket for poopy paper.
5) Walking around Palermo, it is hard to not notice that young men, usually in their teens, are sporting some pretty interesting hairstyles. Our favorite so far is the "brushed straight down, then halfway back spiked straight up, yet still ending up like a mullet in the back." Again, if you know Ang, you can imagine one of these kids walking by and Angela turning to me and saying "Hair!"
6) We're really trying to learn the language, but occasionally the TV tries to trick us by playing shows in our native language. Like moths to the flame, we can't resist watching. The one problem? The shows are TERRIBLE. Embarassingly, shockingly, mind-numbingly AWFUL. Yet we continue to watch. The majority of the shows are on MTV Europe. The lineup of not-so-Emmy-worthy shows include: From Gs to Gents (it gets worse from here), Tila Tequila's Shot at Love 2 (we are eagerly awaiting season 3), Pimp My Ride (not sure on the spelling - it might be Pimp Ma' Ride), Next (no really, next), Made (not on enough, the one show with an iota - relatively - of respectability) and Sweet Sixteen (imagine Veruca Salt with her own show on MTV. And she doesn't even fall down the egg shaft. I feel robbed every time...). I think we may have to resort to watching Walker: Texas Ranger dubbed into Italian from now on. At least that show's got Chuck Norris.