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Deities of Sicily
This un-grand although well-meaning room threw me into the streets of Palermo, where I stopped one late afternoon for a Grillo in a little wine bar where I overheard the male part of a mid-western couple say to a Swedish couple, in astonishment, "Things are so old here!" I was more surprised by the size of the fresh fruits and vegetables in the streets, wanting to believe that Europe grows organic, non-GMO produce. The green cauliflower was bigger than it should be, bigger than a man's rolling head.
Ice Cream in Antioch
Instead of unpacking, I strolled along the Orontes River, described by the Greco-Roman poet Oppian in the second century A.D. as "surging incontinent and wildly murmuring." At the time of my visit, however, damming and diversion—used as weapons by both rebels and regime in war-torn Syria—had reduced the mighty Orontes to nothing more than an elongated pond stinking like a zoo.