Wednesday is market day when all the vendors come to the main piazza to sell their goods. The best time to stock up on veggies is therefore Wednesday. There are also people selling housewares, clothing and shoes.
Aida, who needed help carrying her groceries home, filled me in on all the gossip that concerned me as we walked to her house. Aida, it turns out, was Serena’s uncle’s girlfriend back in the day.
Speaking of gossip, Emma at the little shop in Bacugno, said there is a lack of it since the arrotini have disappeared. An arrotino is a person that travels from village to village on a bicycle that is fitted with a grindstone. As he arrives in the village he announces that all the women should grab their knives and their scissors because the arrotino will sharpen them on the spot, and if you have a small gas leak in the kitchen or if your kitchen ventilation is blocked, the arrotino will fix that too. Needless to say there are countless stories about the arrotini quite similar in nature to the milkman in English speaking countries.
Emma also spoke of how the arrotino is essential to the community because they encounter many people in any given day and they are really representative of the community and also have all the gossip!
I think that PostaHouse should be equipped with an arrotino bicycle and I will now take “mountain bike” off the wish-list and replace it with “grinder’s bike”.
As I exited Emma’s shop I was accosted by locals who were informing me of new tricks for roasting chestnuts and recipes to get rid of all these apples in the kitchen.
On second thought, maybe we could get an arrotino/mountain bike hybrid. Otherwise how would one get from village to village on these roads?