Fine by me

Venice rain, Veneto, Italy

That Venice storm

It didn’t take me all that long to realize I was creating a problem. The tour members were not listening to Elizabetta, and she’s my favorite local guide in all of Europe. Apparently, the sight of their guide standing in the downpour, soaked through to the subdermal tissue, was distracting.


“No, thank you for the offer, really, but I don’t need to crowd under your wee umbrella with you, I’m fine out here.” What’s wrong with that answer? I didn’t get the reason, they didn’t get the rationale.


Piazza San Marco acqua alta October

Venice wears water well





I don’t know if it’s my nature or my nurture, my aquatic affiliation or growing up in a drought, but I have no problem with being wet. At least, not when it’s warmer than frigid and I have the prospect of changing clothes within the next couple hours. This was Venice, African wind acquiring Mediterranean moisture to rain romantic drops of tangible Venetianity on my dry self. Warm water down the spine and across the mosaic. Drips off the ears of man and lion. The tickling timpani of tiny impacts on shoulder and canal. I loved it.


Nepal Chitwan monsoon bikers

That Nepali monsoon on the edge of the jungle

So when it rains when I’m traveling, knock on dry wood, it’s not the biggest problem for me. In general. I do remember the Nepali monsoon that was so incessant, my bag began to mold and stink. And yes, I remember the Sri Lankan monsoon that was so profound that it left the skin of my thigh beginning to mold too. That was just gross. Let’s skip that story. Because there’s another advantage to rain. For photographers and romantics, anyway.


It’s clear as celluloid to me that Hollywood is off its rocker in a couple dimensions. Their assertion that women are not allowed to age, must look like Barbie and have just the right touch of insouciance to be sexy, but not enough intelligence to be scary, is friggin ridiculous. And we’re, what, a decade or two into the assumption that a man’s stomach should look like a topographic map of Colorado. But one thing they do get right: wet streets just look better.


Bastimentos dock in the rain

Panama dock

“Gee, fellow adapted-for-film character, I don’t remember it raining during any of the previous hours, but it sure is moist out here as we finish our conversation, and damn it looks good.”


So waking up this morning, after a surprisingly terrible night’s sleep, hoisting the blinds to find wet pavement outside my window, droplets clinging to the austerity of a Japanese maple in winter, I feel immediately relaxed. This cup of tea is suddenly pure ambrosia, and yes, yes I will take the fuzzy slippers today.


Happy rinsings to all of you, and may that next good book be close at hand.