Why a spring break is like a Pringle


During two years of lockdown and feeling like Papillon on Devil’s Island, locked in and no way out, my wife and I took the sports car to Sicily then on to Calabria and Puglia in the boot of Italy. The problem was we did not want to come home. After being cooped up in Malta, an island so small you could carpet it in an afternoon, the sense of freedom was overwhelming. And just like a single Pringle, a short break is not nearly enough. Had we not had two pooches waiting for us, we would be in Croatia by now on the way to Istanbul!

...and another thing

Fuel stations in Italy are a mystery to me. For a country with such fabulous cooking, fuel station food has all the attraction of an Italian footballers boot. Pallid salads, stodgy pasta and coffee that tastes like ground cigarette ash. And so many different fuel companies! I counted at least a dozen different logos; well I suppose each branch of the Ndrangheta (the Calabrian Mafia, so fierce it makes the Camorra from Naples look like Maypole dancers) must have their own pump action (Petrol not shotgun).

Next is the fuel itself. Super is in fact 95 Octane whilst Eco + is 98 Octane! Go figure. And in Sicily there is no 98 Octane. I have no idea how Don Corleone and his family manage to drive those massive Mercedes 600 Pullman’s. Maybe there is a secret handshake on the forecourt that connects one pump to the high octane juice.

...and another thing

Much as I  am happy to post reviews on Trip Advisor if asked, does anyone take them seriously? There is a book waiting to be written about the most hilarious nonsense descriptions ever printed. My wife and I once made the mistake of fancying a Chinese meal in Rome. We looked at Trip Advisor and selected one from a “Chinese visitor” who recommended a restaurant that made him think of his old home in China. All I can say is home must have been a prison cell!

...and another thing

Malta drives on the right. We own two cars. My wife’s car is RHD, my sports car LHD. As the rest of Europe is LHD we usually take the sports car. However, every morning I need to make my wife remind me which side of the road to drive on. There were a couple of times when my wires got crossed and we both got a few more grey hairs. But I love driving fast cars in Italy. Everywhere you go people smile and waive and say complimenti as opposed to the usual greeting of tosser and being flicked the bird you are greeted with elsewhere.

I know the internal combustion engine is on the way out, but like Major Kong in Doctor Strangelove  I will be riding that missile screaming yahoo until the bitter end.

Take care.

Go Back

Add a comment: