Monday, June 20, 2011

The Sea in Sicilia

Written by Theodore Choi, Student, CET Intensive Language and Culture Studies in Catania.

Since the age of four, I have loved going to the beach. Whenever I was at a beach, I considered myself to be on vacation. Although I hated the sand slipping into my shoes and irritating my feet while I walked, I loved being near the water. The beach has always lured me back to watch the ocean move around the land mass that serves as its boundary.

Last night, as I celebrated my birthday, I hoped to be able to visit the beach. Fortunately, a Sicilian friend was able to drive us to a part of Catania that was new to me, a new beach for me to enjoy. Although I am aware that Sicily is an island, and that I am surrounded by water, it was relieving to my mind to witness the ocean firsthand. Maybe it was because it was at night, but the tranquil nighttime beachscape was quite a change from the daytime bustle of the city’s center. The beach, deserted at this late hour, calmed my nerves.

The particular scent of the beach was what did it in. The salty perfume is much stronger on the Sicilian shore than on any beach in the United States and the water rolls softly onto the sand. A slight glow from the moon reflected off the froth that accumulated as small waves eased their way into the larger body of water.
It was almost as if the sea was an instrument playing the music of crashing waves. I have been to many beaches in my life, and I know that tourists crowd them and disrupt their natural flow.

Here in Catania, where non-European tourists are uncommon, it seems that the ocean reflects the attitude of the people, who seem more relaxed living their daily lives than the people I see back in the States. This assurance of peace and calm has helped me embrace the people, culture, and language even more.

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