January 28, 2017: The Noto Cultural Society

Today is Saturday.  We have been in Noto for about a week now.  What a week it has been.  We are feeling kind of worn out.

My day turned out to be one interruption after another.  We started off needing to take a hike down the hill to go to the big grocery store down there.  That is about 2.2 kilometers which is not very much if the ground is flat.  But it is a bit of a hill here and on the way up the hill I have to carry all of the groceries so it is hot, sweaty and slow going.

We were only home for an hour or two before we had someone that we did not know stop by the house to inform us of the Noto cultural society (or the swarm as they call themselves) meeting this evening in town.  Of course the person who came by only spoke Italian which made the entire thing so much more challenging.

She was probably at the house for most of an hour, but we eventually got things figured out that we were to go to this meeting across town about two hours later, take the kids, pay twenty Euros… meet people or something.  All very complicated and surprising.

So our day ended up being absolutely nothing like we had expected it to be.  Dominica was in the middle of cooking dinner when the woman arrived, too.

So it was a scramble to get everyone showered, bathed, dressed, prepped and whatever and out the door to walk across town and try to find this place.  This is not what we pictured ourselves spending our evening doing.

We actually did pretty well finding the place.  You had to enter an ancient building and poke around a bit and fit a door going to a stairway and go up to what is basically an apartment upstairs.  We were actually decently early so took the kids for a walk down to city hall to kill twenty minutes before going back to be on time.

It turned out to be a very interesting evening.  There were only a few people that spoke English, mostly ex-pats from the UK and Scotland.  There were three kids there and after a bit our girls managed to break the ice and the five of them had a great time playing for hours.  They ran around the whole place like maniacs and did not want to leave.

There was a small dinner there and we visited with people and learned about town, although mostly what people want to talk about is American politics, unfortunately.  No escaping it here.

We stayed out until late then walked back home.  Definitely a very interesting and educational evening.  Well outside of our comfort zone.