You gotta love the Italians. They are a bunch of characters. Now that everyone in the Homeland needs to have their android and smart phones surgically removed from their being, they are obsessed with checking on the forecast. It conveniently appears on everyone’s phones without anyone asking. Since we’re knee deep into July, which is the high season for tourism in Ischia, a small island off the coast of Naples, the folks here are desperate for sunny days. See, the tourists come here for the beaches and thermal spas. If it rains, they don’t show up. Since the window of opportunity to make money is small – limited to the warm summer months – this can be a real economic bummer.
So, whenever there are predictions of rain, especially if it calls for torrential downpours or lots of thunder and lightning, the natives start ranting about the weather people. This summer has been particularly rainy, so whenever I walk outside I see shopkeepers and cabana boys with their phones pointed toward the heavens asking God why he supports these “terroristi.” Yes, they are telling the Big Man upstairs that meteorologists are terrorists.
At first, I thought people were just exaggerating and venting their frustration. But then I started talking to some of my friends about this. These guys really believe there’s a conspiracy against Ischia and other tourist destinations. One way to keep the tourists away, they say, is to predict bad weather and put it on people’s phones, so they don’t come. It’s a way, they tell me, to keep Ischia’s economy in the dump. Who’s doing this? I’ve heard everyone from the mafia (that no longer exists or so people say) to the marketers over in nearby Capri to God himself.
Over the weekend, my friends in the street were furious for the forecasts of monsoon-like weather for the start of the week. “Terroristi,” they shouted. The only problem is that these terroristi were right. The last two days have seen rain, lightning, ocean waters meeting the street, and thunder that shook our house. I’m just waiting for the Ischitani to suggest these “terroristi” are hanging out in the sky, dumping down buckets of water and setting off bombs to simulate thunder. Yeah, right.