Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Chuck Marches in "Italian-Syle" Parade

Sometimes, without even planning a thing, you can end up in the  middle of a unique cultural experience that you would never be able to arrange even if you wanted to:
Case in point.
Chuck and I arrived in Palermo and I mean . . . we literally arrived that day, checked into our hotel, unpacked our bags and decided to go for a walk to really see the city, so to speak.  We stepped out of our hotel in this wonderful city and decided to walk down to the water--a few short blocks away.
And then it happened.  
We were smack in the middle of a parade.  

A very colorful and glorious parade.  Loud and enthusiastic. 
It seemed that no matter where we walked, we intersected with this parade of people who seemed to be marching across the entire city.  At first, I was a bit concerned.  We didn’t want to get in the way.  But then I realized  it didn’t matter. Spectators were more than welcome to join the line and march in the street.  Soon it seemed that there were more people marching than there were people watching.  

Pretty cool.
And Chuck didn’t seem to mind either.  Even though he spotted a rather large dog, marching along.  Or maybe because he saw the dog, he figured he should represent the CAT population.  After all, cats have an open mind, just like DOGS.   

When you’re in a foreign country, you want to get a feel for the place--you want to participate in the day to day activities. Eat at the local restaurants.  Order the local cuisine.  Visit the local supermarket.  Stop in at the department stores.  See a show.  I love to settle into a place for as long as I can.  
Years ago I spent some weeks in Florence studying Italian at a school there with a good friend.  We rented an apartment in the historic district and really got to know the place--the local supermarket, the bus stops, the little trattorias, the department store across town.  We even frequented the dollar store.  And, yeah, we did the touristy things.  After all, we were in Florence and everytime I’m there, I have to go and see the David and visit the Santa Croce Church, but it’s those other things that I enjoy, too.  We got to know the shopkeepers and the deli owners.  
This time Chuck and I had returned to Italy.  To Sicily.  To Palermo.  On the very day when the citizens where marching for Gay Pride.  Chuck joined in.

        After we’d marched for awhile, I turned to Chuck and tried to convince him to leave the parade.  I was tired.  But the kid was enjoying himself.  
        Finally, I got a brainstorm.  "Chuck, what about a gelato?"
        The parade had made it's way down to the water, and along the water's edge were many small eateries and gelaterias.  

          No one can resist gelato, the Italian version of our icecream, but, oh, it's so much better!  Certainly not Chuck.  We left the parade.   No drama.  No running away.  This time.  Yeah.
           So off we went in search of the perfect gelato!
           Log onto www.katelutter.com for more Chuck adventures.
           Wild Point Island, my paranormal romance, is now available in ebook and mass market paperback at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.  

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