I really like seeing something that reminds me of home; it makes me more comfortable. Most of the music playing in shops and at bars is American. It’s interesting to me that they prefer to play our music. I guess the US does well in exporting its culture.
When driving from the airport to the first agriturismo in Sicily there is desert vegetation reminding me of New Mexico. Rather than trees there are large shrubs along with cacti and yucca or century plants surrounded by brown grasses. The cacti are in larger clusters than in Albuquerque. But they have the same large pad, sparse needles, and purple fruit. They also have the same waxy, colorful flowers as at home.
The yucca here are larger than home with lighter coloring and thicker leaves. Also their blooms grow taller and into inflorescence of tiny flowers whereas at home they may be two feet with white, waxy, bulbous flowers growing an inch or so long and attracting ants. One of the grasses here is very similar to Albuquerque. It has a long stem with a row of seeds pointing downwards.
What's interesting is if you travel to a different area you'll find large trees, green grasses, and many flowers. There are even palm trees which I never would have expected in a place that has cacti. The vegetation is very dependent on location and it is fun to watch it change while driving around Sicily.
- Shannon Murray