“Waking up in Venice is unlike waking up in any other place. The day begins quietly. Only a stray shout here and there may break the calm, or the sound of a shutter being raised, or the wing-beat of the pigeons. How often, I thought to myself, had I lain thus in a hotel room, in Vienna or Frankfurt or Brussels, with my hands clasped under my head, listening not to the stillness, as in Venice, but to the roar of the traffic, with a mounting sense of panic. That, then, I thought on such occasions, is the new ocean. Ceaselessly, in great surges, the waves roll in over the length and breadth of our cities, rising higher and higher, breaking in a kind of frenzy when the roar reaches its peak and then discharging across the stones and the asphalt even as the next onrush is being released from where it was held by the traffic lights. For some time now I have been convinced that it is out of this din that the life is being born which will come after us and will spell our gradual destruction, just as we have been gradually destroying what was there long before us. Thus it was that the silence which hung over the city of Venice that All Saints’ morning seemed wholly unreal, as if it were about to be shattered, while I lay submerged in the white air that drifted in my half-open window.”
W. G. Sebald, Vertigo. Translated by Michael Hulse.
Then came our day trip to Venice, where the price tags on everything from t-shirts to food/wine (mostly food/wine) mocked our shockingly apparent lack of money. Venice was absolutely gorgeous and the canal filled streets certainly lived up to the hype everyone has heard above. Unfortunately, such beauty comes with a price, and prices are something broke exchange students don’t cope so well with. So with empty stomachs and tired eyes, we tried to enjoy Venice as best as we could (a lot of dancing kept us energized. ps we had a dance battle with a group from Switzerland and the police shut us down, but hey we won the dance battle so)