Well I wasn’t blogging. I had contracted a virus and very nasty it was too. Not me personally you understand but my trusty old iMac born in China on April 28th 2007 (funny thing with Apple is you can look up the serial number and it gives you your computer’s date of birth). Anyway there I was sitting reading the Daily Mail with my morning cuppa and suddenly the Mail page goes and up comes a new page saying my computer has been taken over by the Carabiniere ( Italian Police) as I had accessed a pornographic site that contravened the laws of Italia . Now I have heard the Daily Mail called some things over the years but never that.
However I seemed unable to get off the page and eventually had to turn off the computer. What was odd was that one half of the page was devoted to a payment section where it said for €100 I could get off the charge. Odd I thought and on my iPad did some research. The iMac had picked up a virus Trojan Revelton which is a ransom virus for obvious reasons. Pay €100 and you get your computer back. It is the first virus to also target Apple computers as well as Windows. It seems like elderly people and viruses, old Apples are easier to get at. This morning I started to read the pages of instruction on how to get rid of it before realising they were for Microsoft and clicked the Mac button on the page. Go to Safari click on Safari on header line, click reset safari , tick the six boxes and it goes said the simple instruction. Oh I love Apple. I did it and hey presto here I am again. Out of jail and no ransom either.
Yesterday the Etna docked in Taranto with 1,353 illegal migrants that had been picked up by the Italian Navy as part of their Mare Nostrum exercise on behalf of the EU. Of the 1,353 passengers 319 were young children, 815 men and 219 women 10 of whom are pregnant. This is just one ship in a series of ships that have been arriving at the port.
The illegals are coming from Africa on anything that might just float
and the Navy is rescuing them and transferring them to ships like the Etna to bring them to Taranto. There the illegals are given medicals before being put on buses to be dispersed around the region.
One of the places they are again coming to is Martina Franca where an hotel has been taken over to house them. Eventually they are to be sent around the EU under the plan though that is proving hard to do. The numbers already here are large but the numbers waiting to find something that floats are plain scary. These need to be added to the number that are coming from the East via Patras in Greece and then either on the back of lorries on ferries or in old life rafts across the Adriatic to Southern Italy.
It is an unfortunate fact that the last time the hotel was used the petty crime rate in Martina Franca went through the roof with residents unable to hang out washing , leave toys in the garden nor things on the seats of locked cars.
Some illegals do find employment doing grunt work for market traders and shopkeepers . They are mainly Pakistanis. Conversely the Chinese seem to quite quickly set up stalls and start selling clothes and tat. The Africans find work in the fields picking crops for farmers and are hugely exploited working long long hours for peanuts and living in disused villages in the hills without running water or electricity.
I met a Pakistani working in my local store in Villa Castelli. He had worked for British Airways for a time in Karachi before the station closed. He was earning €20 a day for 9 hours work humping timber and stuff into the store. His family had made the cross- land journey with him and he was trying to find extra work which is why he approached me.
He spoke excellent Italian after just one year here and stupidly I asked how he did it. “there is a big difference when you need to learn a language so you can feed your family” was how he succinctly put it..
The other night after an excellent dinner down in Pulsano on the coast near Taranto we stopped at a bar and restaurant on the way home for a grappa. The Italian couple we were with knew the owner who had lived near them for a time and had heard he had opened a new venture L’Officina . He came to our table recognising them and insisted on giving us a tour.
In the kitchen as he showed us the spotless floor and cooking range a voice said “hello Mike” It was the Pakistani lad from Villa Castelli. ” I have a good job here now” he said “this gentleman pays me a good wage and pays my stamp. I love working here and my family is now settled”. Quite made my evening.