The Brothel

I’m in Sicily, enjoying the sunshine and working my way through ‘Sicilian Channel’ – running behind the publisher’s schedule, but the research is fun, and the writing is progressing well (in my view, but I’m only the author).

Yesterday, my exercise was a 15 km cycle ride to Santa Croce Camerina, in search of a dongle. Well, I found my dongle, and passed the local brothel on the way. Sure, I’d heard about Paris, Texas and about the Chicken Shack. When I was wintering my boat in Spain a few years ago, I’d asked Ricardo in the local marina bar in Chipiona (near Cadiz) about the property I’d passed outside Sanlucar in Andalucia, with a lot of bedsheets drying on the clothesline (in plain view up on the flat roof) and coloured lights at night. ‘Oh – it’s the brothel’, he told me. An eye opener for me – Welsh boy, sheltered life, mixed non-conformist/Protestant upbringing.

Until now I hadn’t fully appreciated the culture – and I don’t mean in the biblical sense. What is it about Catholic countries or those with Spain or Italian influence in their history? Sin and say sorry. As long as the sin (let’s not debate that term) is outside the town boundaries, then that’s ok. Well, almost.

Mind you, I never saw a brothel in the Emerald Isle.

For those of you with a prurient interest, the one outside Santa Croce Camerina may be just a clip-joint. And no, I didn’t go in – it was mid-morning, business hadn’t opened up yet so I guess they don’t do breakfasts! I don’t have any commercial interest in the products, haven’t tested them, and can’t recommend them. I haven’t been invited to join a focus group, nor do I have any association with the business, other than a passing interest (literally). I don’t know the proprietors either (this is Sicily, don’t forget).

Unfortunately, my Vodaphone dongle is not working, RAS 668 error, and I’m tearing my hair out. I think it needs attention. And to cap it all, my buttocks ache after the 15 km ride (on the bicycle).

Help needed (with my dongle)! I’m told that’s what chatrooms are for…