a day in the park

19 Jan

Sometime last weekend, could have been last Sunday, I grabbed a book of short stories I purchased, and went roaming around Palermo’s parks.

Stopped to eat breakfast at a guidebook recommended small french cafe, Oui Oui, that was on the way to the parks.  It was cool, with candles, flowers, ham and cheeses, and baguettes visible to anyone who enters.  But it was ridiculously expensive, a byproduct of being named in a guidebook I suppose.  When it fails to make mention in the next edition, I wonder if it will still keeps its prices so high?

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My first visit was to the botanical gardens.  It was really peaceful, and I checked off a few short stories with ease.  I had passed by the garden previously, not knowing what it was, and labeled it as the closed off park and homeless cat sanctuary.  They (the cats) were harder to spot this time when the park was open and filled with people, but I could see a few mustering enough courage to approach picnickers and beg them for food, or maybe just to be petted.

Biggest difference between this garden and others I’ve seen like it, was that it mostly displayed foliage, not flowers.  Trees and plants from all over Argentina, as well as statutues everywhere, proved to be the main attraction.

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The Japanese Garden had been on my list of things to see for a while now, so I started the long walk to go find it.

I got tired though, and when I saw a tree with large wide branches, I decided to give it a climb and read a chapter up there.  It was cool, but not as relaxing as it would seem.  I had to make sure my legs wouldn’t fall asleep and I got nervous when the wind picked up a few times.

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Then, across from a Soviet style (ugly) planetarium, I finally made it to my destination.

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The Japanese Garden was cool, if not a bit small, but it warranted a quick look around.  Besides, it was free so I couldn’t complain.  I bet most of the park is actually funded by a luxurious sushi restaurant located on premise.

I think what entertained me the most was a few narrow walkways that took you over little streams, filled with hundreds of hungry, bright colored fish.  Maybe catfish.  I got the impression the fish could feel my presence, probably used to equating large shadows in the water (such as the one I was casting) with portions of free food.

Fish food was available for purchase and the fish eagerly swam around with their mouths wide open, waiting to snatch something before another fish can get to it first.  Feeling more frugal than usual, I tricked the fish instead, spitting into the water, and creating the same sound as if I was dropping some food.  The result was hilarious, with fish swarming the area underneath me, constantly bumping into one another, but with no reward for their hard work.

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