Palermo 2004

Palermo Travel Blog

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Palermo view from Monreale

Here begins a tale intertwined with some other travel blogs I have written so far. This is sort of the point of origin for some of my extended expressions in those other blogs. I will try to tie it all together in the end when this blog is finished, unless you have been following and can see the branches of the story yourself. Anyway, sometime in early 2004 I began my relationship with Regine. It was really nice to begin with and we seemed to be sympatico in sharing, and she was eager to travel too. After dating a few months, I had this upcoming trip to Sicily and thought to invite her to come along with me. She was enthusiastic and excited about it which made me happy. So, here I was one night ready to book the tickets at a good price, had everything in the computer ready to push the purchase button, when I said to Regine, "Sound good to you, ok to book it?".

Chiesa di San Francesco I
She wanted me to hold off and said she wanted to try to find an equal ticket that allowed her to visit her family in Germany first, then join me in Sicily. I told her ok, but find something soon, and I booked my own ticket. She did her best I guess, but it was all too expensive for me, and in a time when I didn't have much extra to spare. Going back to the original plan, that ticket had gone way up in price too. Good guy that I am, I told her I would honor my original offer, but she declined in the end saying she wasn't looking for a 'Sugar Daddy' and thought it would compromise our relationship if she accepted. I respected that and was impressed by her demeanor and consideration. Little did I know she was a firecracker ready to explode. I went off to Italy, content in that I did what I could to have Regine with me, but missing her presence all the same.
Chiesa di San Francesco II
Nevertheless, my brother Jerry and his wife at the time, Melinda, were traveling and met me in Rome, so we could venture together in Palermo. We had a splendid time together. Yes, I was sad Regine was not with me, but it was nice to be with my brother too and share such experiences. My brother and his wife would come along on the next leg of the journey to visit to Erice too. We had a great time together and too bad Regine was not there with us too. I never heard the end of it from Regine, and she blamed me in the end and hounded me about it for months on end afterward. Sorry to say, but as I look back on it now there is something psychologically wrong with a person who blames you for a problem they themselves created.
My brother 'hamming' it up
My relationship with Regine was never the same again, despite that it lasted (on and off again) for some years afterward. This has been more about a relationship than travel, but each has transforming ways and who can say what would have happened had I pushed that button and booked both our tickets from the start. Reminded of a Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken":

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.

Lunch posing in Palermo

Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I— I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Maybe I have interpreted the poem in a different way than most due to my experience, but that is the nature of poetry being open to interpretation. Palermo is a fine city, a bit big and busy, but nice to visit. Funny story: On arriving in Palermo, we visited the sights, then had a nap in the hotel before dinner. I was awakened by music coming from the courtyard: Santa Esmerelda's 'Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'.

Palermo lunch - Cheers!
A message, warning, or statement? To this day I do not know, but seems prescient in reinforcing something - The end of the novel Candide, by Voltaire:

Pangloss says to Candide:
"There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had you not been kicked out of a fine castle for the love of Miss Cunegonde; had you not been put into the Inquisition; had you not traveled over America on foot; had you not run the Baron through the body; and had you not lost all your sheep, which you brought from the good country of El Dorado, you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts"

Candide responds to Pangloss:
"Excellently observedbut we must cultivate our garden"

You see, there is a course of events in life sometimes that it unalterable, and events unfold as they do.

Palermo lunch - Cheers!
One hopes there is no misunderstanding, but there is such a thing as fate and in the end you are home tending the garden again, despite any lamentations you may have. It's a moral lesson I suppose about the decisions one makes in life - turn left or turn right and what is the outcome? We cannot ever know and must be content with that decision at the time and what life delivers to us when we follow a decision to its outcome. That is a kind of fate I think to accept the reality of life in outcomes.

"Appearances are not reality; but they often can be a convincing alternative to it.  You can control appearances most of the time, but facts are what they are."
~ Dean Koontz (The Good Guy, 2007).

spocklogic says:
@ Tong - So I gather 矫情 = hypocritical. That may be an accurate assessment. Regine would often criticize me for faults she was guilty of herself, but would never admit to possessing. Most things of controversy between us were usually my fault in her perception, or so she led me to believe. I generally am not mean spirited, but she was mean to me too many times, so that I have little sympathy now and calling it like it was: Yes, she was somewhat hypocritical.
Posted on: Oct 26, 2013
spocklogic says:
@ Christine - It was my feeling too that Sicily & Germany are far away, but suppose I sympathized with Regine on missing her family and wanting to see them. Still, maybe a tad inconsiderate to me regarding my offer, but understandable maybe. I was less disturbed about that than how she treated me later because of it.
Posted on: Oct 25, 2013
sansan says:
I can't accurately express my point about Regine in English,she is mannered (矫情)in somethings (tickets).she is not sweet,so have not"Sugar Daddy",make a joke... :)
Posted on: Oct 25, 2013
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Palermo view from Monreale
Palermo view from Monreale
Chiesa di San Francesco I
Chiesa di San Francesco I
Chiesa di San Francesco II
Chiesa di San Francesco II
My brother hamming it up
My brother 'hamming' it up
Lunch posing in Palermo
Lunch posing in Palermo
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Palermo lunch - Cheers!
Celebration in Palermo (Futbol I t…
Celebration in Palermo (Futbol I …
Palermo streets I
Palermo streets I
Palermo streets II
Palermo streets II
Palermo market
Palermo market
Tuna
Tuna
More tuna than you want to see
More tuna than you want to see
Square in Palermo
Square in Palermo
San Domenico Church Facade
San Domenico Church Facade
Palermo balcony
Palermo balcony
Streets of Monreale
Streets of Monreale
Cathedral Of Monreale
Cathedral Of Monreale
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale I
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale I
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale II
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale II
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale I…
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale …
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale IV
Inside the Cathedral Of Monreale IV
Statue of Mary in Monreale
Statue of Mary in Monreale
View of Palermo from Monreale
View of Palermo from Monreale
Palermo posing from Monreale
Palermo posing from Monreale
View from Monreale I
View from Monreale I
View from Monreale II
View from Monreale II
Palermo at night I
Palermo at night I
Palermo at night II
Palermo at night II
Palermo at night III
Palermo at night III
Dining in Palermo
Dining in Palermo
Palermo
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal