From the airport in Trapani we hop in a taxi, who I call Signor TaxiCab Confessions, to drive us to the seaport in Marsala to pick up the sailboat. Traveling with 3 Italians plus me – my husband and a married couple friends of ours. What’s the first question an Italian asks to break the ice? FOOD! Where can we get the best CIBO around here? Spaghetti alla cernia, Spaghetti alla Vongole, Tonno fresco! Pane Buono!!! Our Sicilian Taxi driver, who must remain unnamed or I might wake to find a horse head in my bed tonight, he filled us in on the best spots. He leaned in close and said in his Italia Sicilian cadence, “Senta Don Armando, questo devi stare fra me e te. Non dire a nessuno che ho detto io!” Translates as “Now I am going to tell you these secrets, but don’t tell anybody that I told you or I will be in big trouble.” TaxiCab Confessions! Sicilian Secrets… about food! I am dying laughing in the back seat feeling like I’m in some scene in a Mafia movie. Of course I can’t tell you what he said, but he was spot-on! Grazie!
Onward journey towards the port Signor TaxiCab Confessions asks me if the lady beside me, my friend Regina who is only about 15 years older than me, is my mother. We do both have blonde hair & blue eyes and are really close friends, so it is possible. Regina, a good sport, goes along with it and plays along calling me Figlia Mia, bimba, etc. After dropping our guys off at the boat, our cabby offers to wait for me & Regina as we facciamo la Cambussa per barca, buy all of the provissions to stay on the boat for 5 nights. He follows us around the store suggesting this local cheese, or that local salami… he is a sweetheart!
After about twenty minutes listening to my American accent when speaking Italian in contrast to Regina’s obvious native Italian tongue, we have stumped Signor TaxiCab about this mother-daughter relationship. Looking confused he asks, “Wait… where are you from? And you Regina, are Italian! Si?”
“Io sono Americana!” I tell him in my American-accented Italian tongue.
Regina understands immediately where he is going with this interrogation. She offers to him, “I had an short love affair with her father, an American and she was raised there, but she comes to visit me every summer.”
The lightbulb pops up over his head Right in front of the deli counter across from aisle 5. It all makes sense now! He grins and smiles while making some gesture with his hands to mean, “Si, Capisco! Si Si Si.”
As Regina walks off, I fell bad that this joke is still going on, not wanting to offend Regina or the Cabby, I get in close to Signor TaxiCab Confessions. Its my turn to confess, “She is not really my mother.” “Lei non e la mia mamma vera…”
Not willing to give up the fact that we are mother & daughter he says, “thats ok, there are plenty of people doing that now a days, raising children who aren’t their real blood.” He thinks I am adopted! Oh Dio Mio… Mama Mia… Come si fa!?!?!