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Chapter 128 Part 1 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Fame (1)

Falcone Borsellino Airport (Aeroporto Falcone Borsellino).

Had I traveled from Korea, I would've dragged a huge suitcase, but now, coming from Milan, I only carry a manageable backpack and exit the airport.

This is Palermo, the capital of Sicily, at the southernmost tip of Italy.

As soon as I step out of the airport, I feel a thrill upon seeing the ancient city with its crimson base.

"This city has been here since the 8th century. Wow, I can't believe I'm actually here."

Overwhelmed, I gaze at the cityscape and head towards the taxi stand.

In Korea, I prefer buses, but lacking the courage and knowledge to use buses abroad, I choose a taxi.

The fact that Monica is covering all travel expenses is also a big reason. The card for the taxi fare is Rossellini's corporate card.

Italian taxi drivers, lined up neatly, step out and solicit customers.

People speaking a strange mix of English and Italian accents. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word. I respond to the clamoring taxi drivers with just one phrase.

"Can you speak English?"

A phrase I learned from Marco before my trip. It's an Italian question asking if they speak English.

Marco advised that after asking this question, if someone responds, try speaking to them in slightly more complex English.

Many drivers claim they understand English but then reveal their lack of fluency once they have passengers, so it's better to follow his advice.

Following Marco's suggestion, drivers who claim they can speak English push through. I look at them and ask again.

"I'm going to Monreale Cathedral (Cattedrale di Monreale). How far is it, and how much will the taxi fare be? Are there any places worth stopping by on the way?"

I ask three questions in one sentence. Drivers hesitate and retreat, but soon start rapping in rapid Italian and English again.

I wave them away dismissively.

"I want to hire a taxi for the day. If we can't communicate in English, we can't go together. Please step aside."

I weave through the crowd and walk past the line of taxis, throwing English questions at the drivers I make eye contact with.

Some can't respond, and others answer but fail at the next question. As I move on to the next taxi, I hear curses behind me.

But I don't care.

Honestly, I wanted to see only the good side of Italy, but racial discrimination is severe here. I've encountered several people on the streets of Milan who, upon seeing me, either pull their eyes into slits or use derogatory words for Chinese people. The best response to such people is to ignore them.

Walking along the taxi line, I reach the last one.

The problem is, not a single driver passed the English test. I sigh and look back.

"There was someone who answered one of my questions earlier. Should I go with him?"

As I turn back, I spot a few taxis parked elsewhere, not at the taxi stand.

"What's this, the taxis are there, but the color is different?"

I notice a badge saying 'Taxi' on the chest of a driver standing outside. The drivers I've passed so far didn't have such badges.

Though a bit far, I need to make an effort if I don't want to reduce the joy of my trip by half by being with a driver who doesn't speak English.

Walking about 80 meters from the airport, I arrive where the taxis are and am slightly startled to see a man hastily extinguishing his cigarette.

'A black man?'

There are certainly black people in Italy, but most are travelers. It's quite rare for a taxi driver in such a rural town to be black. And this man looks very young.

"Hey, do you speak English?"

Of course, there are black people in Italy, but most are travelers. It's quite rare for a taxi driver in such a rural village to be black, and this one looked very young.

“Hey, do you speak English?”

The young man, whose teeth appeared even whiter against his dark skin, gave a thumbs up.

“Of course, I used to be a sailor.”

Huh? I'm not sure what being a sailor has to do with speaking English. I asked again.

“I'm going to the Monreale Cathedral (Cattedrale di Monreale). How far is it and how much is the taxi fare? Are there any places worth visiting on the way?”

The driver shrugged his shoulders.

“The cathedral is close by, so there's no place to stop in between. Instead, I recommend going down to the opposite side to see Palazzo Conte Federico or Norman Palace. The taxi fare is a standard 3 euros base, plus 1.5 euros per kilometer. It’s about 48 kilometers away, so it'll be around 80 euros.”

A perfect response.

I smiled and set down my bag.

“Let's go.”

“Welcome, customer!”

As the driver loaded my luggage into the trunk, I watched him from the backseat. He turned around to offer a handshake and said,

“I'm Yona.”

“Excuse me?”

“My name.”

“Oh, Ban. But that’s not an Italian name, is it?”

“I’m from Morocco.”

I thought so. Why would there be a black man here? Most black people in Italy are immigrants, from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, but they are few and hard to come by.

“Yona, how old are you?”


“Wow, it must be nice to be young.”

“And you, Ban?”

“I’m nearly thirty.”

“Oh, I thought you were around my age. Easterners always look young.”

“Haha, that’s nice to hear.”

“Why are you going to the cathedral? Tourism?”


“I saw paintbrushes in your bag. Are you a painter?”

“Yeah, you have a good eye?”

“Many people who go there are painters.”


“Yes, shall we go?”

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