Column Chronicles
More about my favourite cities of the world
Frank Cotolo
August 7, 2020
I have travelled the Seven Seas, only to discover I cannot memorize their names, and I have been around the world twice from each side of the Equator. My memories of cities where I have visited revolve in my memory at random.
Porto is in Portugal. It is a city overshadowed by Lisbon and all the people who say Porto sucks. Only narrow-minded people and dogs of war would put Porto down because it is a great city to visit, make friends and make love to friends. Once, I stayed in Porto so long that I developed a rash, making too many friends for my skin to absorb.
My search for the perfect shortbread took me to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital that too many people overlook, especially when seeing it from the air. Such wonderful bakeries adorn the streets and the mews. Each has its own shortbread recipe, offering shortbread in many shapes. But all of the shortbread is packaged in plaid metal so as not to favor any individual colour.
Late one night, I flew into Tel Aviv moments after a minor attack by enemies of Israel. I was going to stay a day or two but became unwillingly entangled with the terrorists responsible for the attack. I thought they were who they claimed to be - fans of my writings. I always like to spend time with fans but I should have known that fans who carried daggers between their teeth and lived in a tunnel beneath a holy building, were not wholesome ones. Were it not for my ability to count in Arabic numbers, I may have been tortured or worse.
Every time I visit Shanghai I forget how to spell it. Still, of all the Asian cities available for a guy to guess which pedestrian is male or female, Shanghai residents do not hold poor spelling of their city against a visitor. For ten years I visited Shanghai and made a new friend or lover whom I kept in contact with until any one of the ten found out about the others. It is easy to never to see the same person twice in Shanghai because there are so many people (male or female and quite hard to distinguish).
Berlin is a friendly city to visit but it was not always that way. Those who recall World War Two are quick to wince at the anger and violence that swarmed the streets as Germany attempted to take over the world. I was not alive then but my uncle Marcus was an Allied Forces' spy during the war and left with hideous memories. He was so disturbed about his days in Berlin that the only physical remnant he had from the experience was the Nazi helmet he wore when dressing for a wedding or funeral.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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