To the Land of Tiramisù

by Lem — November 6, 2011

Due to a series of un/fortunate events, I spent the weekend with my best friend in Venice and typed this yesterday on my mobile phone. Remind me someday to get a laptop…

As I am lying on my hotel bed on Guidecca, one of the islands of Venice, I can still only marvel at the mere thought of building a whole city into the ocean. As I am told, this part is one of the few natural islands, and still not called ‘terra ferma’ by the Venetians. This term is strictly used for those who live on ‘real’ land and who are regarded to be a little strange by the inhabitants of Venice. Coming from the mouth of those who live on artificial islands, I wonder who the strange one might rather be. The whole city has an eery and even a little morbid air to it. Decay seems to be creeping into every corner of the palaces and tightly packed houses. Today, as the rain pours down onto La Serenissima, as the city is also called, it has an almost unwordly appearance. Plaster is coming down from lopsided walls, and first floors of buildings are closed up and seldomly used due to high waters. It’s easy to get lost in those maze like little streets and alleys, and to find oneself in a cul-de-sac, staring onto one of the many canals that crisscross the city. The lion of St. Mark, symbol to the city, gazes down on it all out of unseeing eyes from flags, reliefs and statues. It is utterly beautiful and revolting all at once. I’m seasickly in love with this city.

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