Venice: At first glance

posted on: Samstag, 4. Januar 2014

It was already dark, when the Vaporetto finally entered San Marco Station. During the ride there was a man sitting right across the aisle, reading a book, while we and the other tourists were curiously pushing our noses against the narrow line of windows of the waterbus, trying to catch a glimpse at Venice by night. "See", I whispered to the boyfriend. "At some point I will be him: sitting here, bored, lost in a book, because the beauty has become an everyday thing for me." He nodded his head. "Feels great, doesn't it?"

For now, I am far from seeing this stunning place as normalcy. During our flight above the impressive Alps I read Hanns-Josef Ortheils "Venice. An allurement" and although I really enjoyed the lecture I could not stop thinking: Oh come on, just stop overromanticising. Venice cannot be THAT cliché. Pretty sure it is not all one makes it out to be.

{Much like Paris, it is impossible to come here without expectations. You have seen movies like "Don`t look now" (aka "Wenn die Gondeln Trauer tragen") and "Casanova" and all the pictures in your head of singing Gondolieri and the view from the Rialto Bridge on a sunny summer's day.}

You know about the beautiful old houses and tiny alleys, but you have also heard about the crowded spaces, waiting for hours in front of every tourist attraction, being worried about your valuables and those souvenirshops everywhere, where you can buy the same masks and other kitschy stuff that none of your loved ones at home really wants to have. A lot of people told me "I really enjoyed visiting this place, but I certainly would not want to live there." I understand, in fact, so far I have no idea if I want to live here, because I don't even know how to imagine it.

I felt weirdly calm the day that I left. Hugged my family, cuddled the cat and fell out the door. "You are quiet", the boyfriend recognized at the airport, but that was probably the only thing to be noticed from the outside. I spend my travel time reading, thinking, staring into space. In that strange place you get to, when on the one hand everything is new and strange and unreal, and on the other hand you suddenly feel very at home in your own heart & mind.

The pounding of the waves pushed the waterbus station from side to side. For a short moment I felt like I was getting sick, but then I realized that I should better get used to this motion, so I just sat there looking around. There was a christmas tree in one corner, decorated with bright christmas ball ornaments and fairy lights that changed colour. It looked weirdly misplaced in this sad room, with the simple wooden seats and the tarnished white walls. There was a door with a massive sign "Sliding door. Do not lean against." And of course there was an Italian man leaning against it. 

{I was worried I would be disappointed immediatly. That I would feel like this open-air museum could never be part of my everyday, that there was nothing nice to be found between all the tourist traps and all the Venetians act annoyed by the sheer mass of people.}

A little like that one Janosh story, where the ape lives in a beautiful castle that, when you walk around it, exposes as a simple monkey cage with a coloured cardboard front (I am not sure why I never forgot that part, but if he wanted to teach kids a lesson he sure did a good job with me). 

But so far, it has all been good. There have been plenty of nice people that gave us directions (in the most charming mix of Italian, English and sometimes even German) when we, tired from the flight and completely unoriented, got lost in the thousands of narrow alleys. We live in an affordable little hotel five minutes from Saint Marcus Square and right now I really enjoy being right in the middle of this turbulent (and of course very touristy) space. The greyish weather cannot ruin our mood. I will hang around here a little longer until I make my way to the edges of the city, where soon my new "everyday" begins. So far all I know is that I had a cappuccino and a cornetto for breakfast and violin music is finding its way through our hotel room window, while I am typing this. 

Maybe I will be so much smarter in a few days or weeks, but maybe, just maybe, Venice IS what you make it out to be... 

2 Kommentare:

  1. it does seem so. i went to australia last august, and it was strange because i felt like i never left the city that i visited. the familiarity and all. venice seems interesting

  2. Ahhh was für ein toller Post <3 Ich wünsch dir ganz viel Spaß in Venedig - hoffentlich fühlts sich auch bald an wie zu Hause :)


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