Life, a chaotic assemblage of events that we strive to give meaning and narrative to every day.
Maybe only a handful of days out of all the ones that passed or following sit outside of that narrative. Everything doesn’t have to go perfectly for it to be a perfect day. Often its greater than the sum of its parts, sometimes the mishaps make the result all the better.
As best I can I will try recount one of my perfect days.
Please excuse my waxing the poetic trying to describe it because any interpretation I give it will ultimately fall short.
My sister had recommended Cinque Terre from her travels and I had restructured my entire trip to accommodate visiting this area. The first plan I had was a week in Rome, a week in Florence and a week in Venice. Although both beautiful places it would have been very excessive for that long in Venice if not Florence for a trip of my duration. Carrara was acting as my home base on the Italian riviera, I hadn’t really decided on the best way to approach the Cinque Terre yet.
While on a day trip to Le Spezia (To be covered another time. This is the Pulp Fiction approach to travel writing after all.) the Siberian and I were checking out the marina when she noticed the following.
It was decided we would explore Cinque Terre from the sea, as they have been sea going settlements for hundreds if not thousands of years this plan was the best one yet.
The following day before this we would “Take sun” at the beach as the Siberian put it.
It was to be the only day of downtime in over 2 weeks of constant activity.
Now I’m used to New Zealand sun, which beats down like fiery nails due to our lack of an ozone layer. We are wary of it and must give it the respect it demands. I had spent the majority of each day over the last week outdoors in Rome in the sun with barely a tickle.
So it could be said I was pretty dismissive of what the Northern Hemisphere had to offer in the way of solar radiation.
I had applied what I thought to be a modest application of SPF 30 and one of the perks of the pay beaches is a lovely sun umbrella to cower beneath.
It wasn’t until later, after cooking the fresh fish, filleted by Red Sonja the fishmonger, I felt that familiar prickle in my legs, on my shoulders and my stomach. Here comes the burn. The tan lines I would keep as a souvenir for the next 6 months.
“Oh Fuuuuuuu…” I groaned thinking of the next days undertaking.
“Ha, in Russia, word for you is pomidor, tomato.” The Siberian offered cheerfully.
We were almost past the open hostility phase of our traveling companionship. Almost.
This was not the perfect day. Not yet.