Saturday, May 26, 2007

How to explain everything in terms of New York and Carrots

So, when I last checked in, I was in Taormina. Since then, I have been shuttling between the Aeolian Islands, the Hamptons of Europe, and Mondello, the Hamptons of Palermo.

I am now sitting in the Palermo airport (okay, when I wrote this, I was there. Now I'm at "the only non-sh!t hostel in all of Rome," per my new Aussie rommate), eating some carrots I bought at the Palermo veg market. I try to make an effort to consume the local produce and wines wherever I stay, and I recently read an article by a woman who claimed that artisinal carrots are far better than their supermarket counterparts.

Well, I can now definitively tell you that there is no difference between carrots grown artisinally in the rich volcanic loam of Mt. Etna and the ones from whatever chemically-treated, recycled Poland Spring bottle shreds produce American supermarket carrots.

A root is a root is a root.

Beaches, in contrast, are exercises in variety. The beach at Taormina, instead of sand, was carpeted with stones as large as pavers and as smooth as river rocks. The beach at Canetto, in Lipari, featured foot-slicing obsidian pebbles interspersed with large chunks of pumice (the local schist). I buffed my heels in the waves and nursed my bruised butt by double-folding my towel.

On Stromboli, an island which is simply the uppermost part of a volcano's cone, the black sand glittered with bits of mica. Strange little cacti and spongy lumps of lava rock gave the effect of a lunar landing, although for me (warning: bad pun ahead) all seas offer tranquility (oh, I HATE myself!).

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