Nothing really out of the ordinary happened to me this week and yet, all I could think about when picking items for this post, was the unexpected. An unexpected gesture from someone we know well; a trip carefully planned that turned out to be unexpectedly different; the unexpected in the mundane. Not sure what this thought means, but please indulge me. Wishing a wonderful weekend, maybe filled with unexpected twists and turns.
One. What does the Colosseum look at all day? Or the Taj Mahal? Does the Wailing Wall have any thoughts as to the people who approach it? If they were sentient beings, they would have plenty of stories to tell. For now, we have the photos of Oliver Curtis who visited a number of famous monuments and turned the camera the other way.
Two. My German neighbour called a few weeks ago to alert me Germany was facing Italy in the Eurocup quarter finals. Was I watching? I rarely watch soccer but I remember very well what a big deal it is in Europe and how entire cities empty when a major match is being played. Portugal defeated France and went on to win the tournament, which took place in France. This video captures a Portuguese child consoling a wailing French fan. So unexpected and so sweet.
Three. Milan is an unexpected city, hardly ever on the list of first-time tourists to Italy. Most foreigners think of it as industrial. It is not – just very Mittel European in its look. What I loved most about Milan was the fog in winter: dense, humid and numbing. You would know without opening the windows, still lying in bed, that it was foggy outside by the dullness of the sounds. I came across this photo of the canal (Naviglio) by the bridge where I used to live and I was reminded of the fog. If you are planning a visit to Italy, November can be a magic month: not bitterly cold yet but with short, dark days and an aura of mystery (Venice with the fog is beyond dreamy).
Four. If you are woman, you were probably hit on by complete strangers at some point in your life. Most likely, you brushed them off, annoyed, offended or even if flattered. We don’t talk to strange men in the street. What would happen if we did? A journalist for Vice News in Paris decided to find out.
Four. I wrote this post before finding out about Nice. Talk about unexpected. No wise words are available to me right now to convey the sadness.
Top image: what the Taj Mahal looks at all day