Angela brought up a good point during our most recent trip to Palermo. If you ever hear a group of kids yelling "Che schifo!" ("How gross!") behind you, DO NOT turn around.
I made the mistake this past Saturday, as we were sitting down to enjoy our gelato al gelsomino con brioche (jasmine gelato on a brioche, or as we like to say, a gelato burger or "frozen doughnut", 'cuz that's what it sorta tastes like...). A gaggle of kids - an appropriate word, given our semi-understanding of the language, when we hear a group of kids talking it sort of sounds like a bunch of "gaggling" - sat down at the table behind us. I would guess they were all around 12-14 years old. Ang and I have different feelings about groups of kids - I think I usually find their childish antics somewhat amusing, at least until they throw fireworks at my feet, while Ang would probably opt for grabbing each of them by the ear and giving them 1) a lesson on behaving themselves in public and 2) a haircut. Since neither of those things are within our range of abilities language-wise, Ang usually chooses to try to ignore it.
So the kids sitting down behind us are starting to get crazy. Out of the commotion, one of them starts yelling "Che schifo!!!" repeatedly. Of course, I turn around and Ang ignores them. The kids, one by one, are sticking their fingers into a heaping cup of gelato, much to the disgust of the owner. Plunging their fingers, filled with gelato and cream, into their mouths, they start circling the owner for another swipe. The poor little boy started to shriek, outnumbered by his friends and unable to protect his dessert.
Ang and I didn't stick around much longer - the kids were pazzi per lo zucchero. We decided to take a walk along Palermo's waterfront promenade and Ang pointed out that I had made a poor decision in looking back to see what the kids were doing. She had a point, "che schifo" could have been anything - I got lucky. The kids were being pretty annoying, and I hope that the owner of the plundered ice cream didn't eat the remainders (although something tells me that he did; this is, after all, the town where men used to rent candy suckers. Yup, kids would line up to pay to suck on a piece of candy for a few minutes before it was yanked out of their mouth - it was tethered to a string - and given to the next kid in line!). Given the propensity for bizarre sights in Palermo, things definitely could have been a lot worse!