Fine by me
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.
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.
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.
“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.
Although I am not quite the dancing-in-the-rain type, life in the desert is making me feel very deprived when it comes to a good downpour. So much so that I once book a month-long trip to Nepal simply because it was monsoon season. My luck? It didn’t rain nearly as much as most other years! Still it rained, and how glorious it was.
I love that idea, the desert-dweller flying out to the monsoons. And the other way around. Such a marvelous thing, to live in this age of movement, when we have the resources. (Sorry, I’m working on that Year of Gratitude thing. Can you tell?) I hope/trust that Nepal had plenty of other beautiful things to show you, in addition to that lovely warm rain?
Ah, I strongly believe in living with daily gratitude. I think the more one focuses on the blessings of life, the more one receives, and the easier the challenging times become. I hope your Year of Gratitude will be a marvelous one, cementing a simple philosophy into a way of life that becomes natural and constant. 🙂
I rented an apartment in Bhaktapur for a month, and apart from a couple of brief day trips into the surrounding area, all I did, was immerse myself in the daily routines of the city. And completely fell in love with the gentle, friendly people. It was before the devastating earthquake, and I often wonder how the lives of the people changed, who I, in my time there, got to know by their warm smiles, greetings, and even first names. It was one of my best travel experiences ever. There is something truly magical that happens when one allows the rhythm of a place to dictate one’s experience of it. I like to travel slow through landscapes, but, sadly, it is not always possible to stay for a month. I’ve only ever done that twice, and wish I could do it more often.
I’ve never been able to figure out why I hate getting wet in the rain even if it’s warm. It’s a bit like swimming, isn’t it?
Nice imagery in those last words.
I suppose it is a bit like swimming. Though without that burn as the chlorine water gets into your nose. That’s the first sensation that comes to my mind after a childhood spent sneaking into public pools. Maybe that repeated light chemical burn is why I have such a dismal sense of smell…
What were we talking about? Rain! Right. Well, we live in a good part of the world for the water-weary. And if this year’s El Nino is as wet as they say, give me a call, and I’ll do your outside errands for the afternoon. 🙂