March 10, 2014

Travel series: ''Il giorno é arrivato''

The man at the train station couldn't speak English, but I decided to take the next train anyway. I fell asleep on the train, I awoke, and now here I am. In Italy, for the first time.

In the frenzy and chaos of finishing exams and flying to Europe shortly after, I brought with me much adrenaline and two massive dark circles under my eyes. And now, for the first time in many months, I just am. I have no plane or train to take, no activities to do, no places to visit. 

The sun is shining bright, a chilly wind is blowing, and as I walk on the streets of this millenia-old italian city, I feel like an impostor. Everyone around me is busy: busy talking on the phone, busy going back to work, busy going home. I catch a glimpse of their routine, somewhere between home and the office, work and play.

Meanwhile, I am here passive, contemplative, useless. It feels out of place to not be working, to not have something concrete to do. Back where I come from, everything is planned, organised, work-oriented. But here I am.

I don't want to see any monuments. I don't want to visit. I just want to be, here, and now. 

I walk around. Everything is so beautiful, so full of meaning, a feast for the senses. Every sensation is amplified, every thought is loftier. How foreign it is to be a spectator, to pay attention, to notice, to appreciate. 

Parks everywhere. I pick the one that has the prettiest name, with the most vowels. 
My friend and I lie down on the grass, in full sunbeam. I left my bag about a meter away. I should probably bring it nearer, as my passport is in it and you never know. But the heat and weight of the sun are so numbing that I am paralyzed. 

I wake up and look at my watch. We have been napping for an hour and a half. My heart skips a beat, then I sigh in relief: my bag is still there. Always selfish, the sun has once more taken more from me than it has given: I feel heavy and with little energy. It is an oppressive, yet liberating feeling.

The shade is coming our way. The sun will soon be going down. It is good to be idle, for once. It is good to be an impostor of the ordinary. The day has come. 

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