On Australia Day this year (I posted about what it means to me here), we went out to different family events in the Bay. We spent a few hours in the sun trying to find somewhere where the Tornado and a little friend could have fun and we would not all end up with a melted brain.
It was hot though even at the fabulous shadowy playground at Wellington Point, so when finally we had enough of the heat and the crowd, and I had dropped off our friends, I sat with a buzzing head in the car driving back. Tornado said – remarkably – “we go home and we have quiet games now, ok Mami?” Oh, yes buddy, we will.
Then I passed by a handwritten sign on a fence where someone was selling the produce of their garden to people via their driveway. “FIGS NOW OPEN”
Hmmm, I thought. Fresh figs! I turned around and parked the car.
As I only have discovered fresh figs (as opposed to dry ones, or sugar soaked ones) in my 20s (moving south in Europe), I still consider them somewhat a special treat. I don’t need to say what an incredibly healthy treat figs are.
So I rang the old and battered hand bell that was attached to a table with a string. After what seemed an eternity – I was really about to go – a man who was easily in his late 70s if not more, came to the door. He was carrying little cardboard crates of figs by the dozen. And a big smile. The figs looked gorgeous!
After a few words, I kind of already knew but I wanted confirmation : the old man’s Italian accent was so thick he could have been off the boat yesterday. Out of curiosity, I asked him how long he was living in Australia for.
He told me to take a guess.
Now I have met Italian and Greek immigrants of this generation in Australia before so I dared a cheeky “40 years!” and that made him laugh.
“55! ” he said. I told him where I was from. And : “About 4 years here now.”
He smiled and nodded. “Issa grat-uh plaice, heh? Australee-ya!”
You’re sayin’ it, mate. Great for all of the above and so many reasons more.
Ps: Figs tasted awesome!