January 21, 2012

On Strike

It's been an interesting week here in Lake Wobegone Sicily. For the past five days, the Sicilian truckers, farmers, and fishermen have been on strike. That may not sound like such a big deal, but it is turning into one. Big rig trucks and tractors have been blocking major intersections, toll booths, and even shut down parts of the major interstate/autostrada. Gas stations have been out of gas all week. Grocery stores are out of milk, eggs, and other products. Everyone is being urged to conserve gas, limit travel, and carpool when possible. School teachers have started riding the school buses with the kids to get to school each day. 

Protestors have been camping out in clumps along the roadways trying to get their message across, trying to make some changes. I don't understand all of the intricacies of this particular strike, but I do know that Sicily is struggling and there doesn't seem to be much recognition for that. The Sicilians I have spoken to are upset that this five day strike hasn't been reported in the National Italian news. There have been meetings, but no apparent resolutions and the end is not in sight. The truckers won't continue to strike, but next week there will reportedly be a week long strike by all of the gas stations. And next weekend we have been warned about a possible airline strike. It's tense. 

And yet, as I slowly wound my way through the group of protesting farmers and truckers yesterday, I found myself fighting an urge to pull over and join them. Mixed in between my feelings of frustration about the increased traffic jams and my worry about running low on gas, I had this surreal moment of desire. The scene I had been witnessing for the past few days looked strangely inviting. Men gathered around a small fire, grilling and eating artichokes fresh from the nearby fields, chatting, using their hands for extra emphasis. A slice of Sicily in the midst of chaos. Hoping things get resolved soon.

4 comments:

likeschocolate said...

Hope the strike ends soon. Haven't seen anything about it here int the states. The cruise ship seems to dominate much of the news hear along with the elections. I hope there isn't a strike when we come in July.

likeschocolate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corinne said...

So, yeah. I've heard nothing about it. I think that would make me feel tense, too.

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Thanks, guys. I was able to fill up on gas this afternoon...happened to get very lucky and arrive at a station just as the gas truck was about to arrive to re-fill the tanks. Glad I got some because another strike is rumored to be starting up tomorrow and it could last even longer than the previous one.