The area that we live in is in the Sicilian farmland and I think this setting has given me the impression that Sicily mainly consists of a rural setting. With our household goods finally moved in, the culture shock has finally hit me. I finally realized how different this country is when I started searching for simple things like light bulbs, batteries, poster-board, and 8 1/2 x 11 paper. In the states there is Target, Micheal’s, Barns and Noble, Home Depot, and even Walmart that make it easy to find whatever you need. In Sicily it is a lot harder to find the supplies you need in your home. There aren’t large chain stores you can go to and often times news of stores is spread by word of mouth since Yelp is not commonly used.
I asked my sponsor for help so she and another woman from Marinai housing took me to the Catania mall. It is named after the island volcano and called Etnapolis. I was expecting something small. Most places I have gone to so far have been small shops squeezed tightly next to one another. I anticipated something similar to the mall located in the small town I came from: empty stores, struggling businesses, and were the most popular store is forever 21. When we pulled up, I was SHOCKED! Compared to what I am used to this mall was ENORMOUS!
In front of the mall is a large fountain. The front walkway has a playground, circus rides, and areas for children to explore. Attached to the mall are restaurants, a grocery store and a movie theater! Inside there are three levels! They had brands I knew of from the states and many I had not heard of. There were places to buy makeup, clothes, furniture, paintings, toys, food, hardware, etc. I know it is superficial but it made me feel a little more comfortable when I realized that this mall was located so close by!