I always talk about another perspective. Then of course everyone is asking me what do I actually mean by that? In the end everyone will have different perception as everything can be subjective. So no, I don’t mean our personal views or opinions, but how things around us can seem completely different depending on the factors and also… on our mood and mindset at that moment.
Today I was having my first evening walk in Taormina. I am no going to lie, I was very close of hitting bed for a nap at 5 p.m., as after morning alarm clock at 3 a.m. to get the flight, then bus to get to Catania, walk to leave luggage, very long walk around the city (which was a bit disappointing, but soon I’ll write about it as well), then reach Taormina by train & bus & 20 minutes walk up the stairs. Can be exhausting, right?
But the moment when I have seen the color of the sea, the crowd of people walking through narrow streets, sipping coffee in restaurants or having drinks on the square – that was the moment when the nap idea was simply gone. [currently I am still in a bar trying to write down all the thoughts and ideas for future posts! Somehow my brain still seems to be working.]
So quick shower – I start looking like a human being again and not to make people move away from me – and off we go. Taormina! I was supposed to find a nice place to sit and enjoy the view. Instead I have started with getting lost in all the streets, playing with homeless cats and giving directions to other tourists. Somehow wherever I go, everyone is asking me for some advice. Today, I was asked by an Italian person about the bus. What is funnier though, even if she has heard that I am obviously not a local, she still insisted on me knowing the answer. Why? Because I have had map in my hand, camera and phone, so I must have looked like Info Point! Anyway, never mind, I always take it with a bit of distance and I am very proud of myself if I can actually reply to their questions. This means that I have clearly made my lesson and studies the place – my way.
Coming back to the perspective. The city by day seemed very touristic, which of course is the case, crowded, loud, full of selfies, people with their eyes on their phones instead of following what is around. I was walking and despite I admit this is the most beautiful place I have seen by now, I kind of couldn’t understand its vibe. Like is it just touristy, or maybe it is real historic and cultural place that I have imagined and wanted to explore? I was doubting it all afternoon. But then the sun went down. People kind of calmed down. You have started seeing more elderly people walking around enjoying views, more romantic view of couples heading for aperitivo or dinner.
Surprisingly, for the first time, I felt a bit lonely as the solo-traveler, as I literally haven’t seen a single person in a bar or restaurant. Need to explore it tomorrow more. Not that I mind, but for the first time it felt slightly weird.
While getting lost in the streets at night in Taormina, I have finally recognized that this city has its particular atmosphere. The time seems to have stopped a while back for locals. The buildings, the way they live but also their pace in doing things (oh my… they have pushed the limits of my patience just in few hours!). Just then I realized, it is not them that should adapt to my world, but me to adapt to theirs.
Night is the time for locals. When tourists are tired after long walk, million of drinks and stuffed with delicious food, the southerners are escaping from their dens to wine and dine. I have noticed the rule that the more south you go, the bigger chance to meet locals and mix with them. It has proven itself today. In the first bar I have entered I have spoken with at least five different people. It was also very funny to see how all waiters and waitresses felt sorry for me to be on my own… They genuinely cared and were talking to me in any spare minute they have had.
Having all those new images in my head, I have completely changed what I thought about this place. Initially distant, touristy and cold, started to feel like my cozy place to be. Maybe with a lot of people, but very open ones and yet, in the evening you are able to discover the real life happening there behind the ‘travelling’ curtains.