May 17, 2010
Doing the bathroom twice was not fun.
In the aftermath of Round One, I was tempted to give up and flee Sicily for good.
“You get no respect from your crew,” noted a friend. She persuaded a local bigwig to throw his weight around, Sicilian-style, as my proxy.
That did the trick.
Early one morning a new piastrellista, tile setter, showed up on my doorstep smelling of cologne and rubbing sleep from his eyes. He toiled away in a no-nonsense fashion, furiously attacking his predecessor’s work. Glass shattered kaleidoscopically.
“Io sistemo tutto,” he kept repeating. I systematize all. (Sistemare is one of the highest Italian virtues.)
To fuel his fury, I ran to the local bar for tiny cups of thick black coffee and sweet ricotta tarts.
Round Two produced an apple-green bathroom. The tiles are ceramic and plain—not the pricey designer ones of yore. But you know what? Good riddance to those fancy-pants glass tiles. I like the brighter cheap-o ones better.
I hate to trivialize Andre Gide’s words by using them in this mundane context, but I’ll do it anyway: “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”