Posted in artisan food, food, Food Writing, funny, Greece, humor, stray cats, travel, travel writing, Uncategorized

How Catty

Stray cats. Street cats. Beach cats. Cafe cats.

I had traveled to the Greek island of Lesvos, not because I wanted to learn about its stray cat population, but because I wanted to explore its tasty treats populating bakery shelves. Since this woman cannot live on baklava alone, I was eating a fig and walnut salad and salted sardines on the deck of a restaurant overlooking the Aegean Sea.

As waves lapped at the shore, I slurped the remaining morsels from the sardine skeleton. The more I bit, the more I nibbled, the more the spiky, spiny bones jabbed and stabbed my tongue. I didn’t want to swallow any. I stopped eating. I pushed the plate aside.

I waited for the waiter to take away my plate. I waited for the waiter to say, “Anything else? Would you like some water?” I waited and waited.

Just as I was wondering whether anyone would come clear my plate, someone did appear. Half a foot tall, about a foot long, pointy ears, white fur splashed with orange, it sat kitty corner from my left, swishing its long tail over the deck.

“Hello,” I crooned, “aren’t you pretty.”

It opened its mouth wide, revealing sharp, pointy, white teeth. Hungrily, it eyed the sardines.

“No,” I told it. “No.”

As I stared down the cat on my left, a tiger cat crept forward on my right; jumping onto the seat next to me, it leapt onto the table, and snatched a sardine.

“No!” I yelped.

Not one person on the deck glanced my way. Not one waiter rushed to my aid.

Taking matters into my own hands, I picked up my camera and when the cat came back, I snapped photo after photo of it stealing sardines, licking my plate clean.

Several minutes–and several photos–later, my waiter ran over. “This is a restaurant!” he shouted, waving his arms.

“Something must be done about the cats,” I said.

“The cats are stray, but you did nothing to shoo them away.”

The situation presented an interesting question: was it the responsibility of the customer to keep the cats from dining at the restaurant or the responsibility of the restaurant to keep the cats from dining with the humans?

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Posted in funny, humor, lost and found, travel, travel writing, Uncategorized, Victoria bakeries

Safe & Sound

Thank you to everyone who called, wrote, prayed, and sent support. It was a rough few days. I don’t know what I would have done without you.

But I am happy to report some good news, finally. In today’s mail, I received… my luggage tag!

Thanks to the kindness of one wonderful gentleman, who discovered my tag at his Victoria bakery, my luggage tag made its way home. I am sure it had many adventures on its travels and will tell me in all good time.

Meanwhile, I have a small correction: I had thought my tag depicted three cubs, but it, in fact, shows a mother and her cub. My story was completely true, but for that factoid: I was lion.

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Posted in chocolate, chocolate desserts, funny, humor, lost and found, travel, travel writing, Uncategorized

Luggage Tag Seeks Same

If you travel at home or abroad, it is wise to attach a luggage tag to your luggage; if your bags go missing, they will find their way to you. But what if your luggage tag gets lost?

After visiting my dear friend in Victoria, B.C. Saturday, I arrived at my B&B, only to discover that my shoulder’s bag luggage tag had fallen off.

Had it stayed in the tea room to indulge more smoked salmon sandwiches? Checked out the Fringe Festival? Wandered Chinatown’s alleyways and indulged in organic dark truffles with maple cream, smoked salt, and orange? Maybe it was hanging out in the shade of the giant acorns in a nearby village.

While I retraced my steps over the next twenty-four hours, I tried to remind myself that losing a luggage tag was minimal compared to, say, losing my passport or I.D. It was even better than losing my sunhat, which I accidentally left behind in the Vancouver airport the last time I was in the area.

But this was no ordinary luggage tag; it was my favorite luggage tag. It showed three lion cubs on one side and my contact info on the other. I felt concerned for it, splat on some unknown sidewalk.

I wondered who my luggage tag was without its attachment to me; I felt lost without it.

Perhaps my luggage tag needed its own tag to find its way back.