It had been a while since they had travelled anywhere. They wanted to, but couldn’t; they never spoke about it. On this Saturday evening, she suggested a walk through town: let us pretend to be tourists, she said, and picked up the camera. He didn’t see the point, but agreed.
Afternoon rain had followed morning snowfall, and although the slushy streets made walking difficult, the sky was clear and the air fresh; it seemed like a new place after all, she said.
Around a corner, she pointed to the church tower at a distance: that looks interesting – we must walk towards it.
It was the town’s only Protestant church, one they crossed each day driving back from work, and yet, from this street at this hour it seemed unfamiliar. Was it the light, he wondered. Or was it the snow?
On hauptstrasse, boys were throwing balls of snow at people passing by, who stopped, glared at them for a while, and went on their way. Unruly kids, she remarked. Those in our town are so well behaved – things are so different here.
He played along (he’d realized that one only had to look at things anew), and added that this main street looked more modern than the one in their town. She looked at him, surprised and elated, and he noted he hadn’t seen that glint in her eye before.
Soon they reached the church, whose tower rose majestically against the backdrop of a blue sky. He took pictures; passers by looked at him the way people look at tourists in a not-so-touristy place, wondering why were they visiting this town at all.
In a parking lot next to the church he spotted graffiti on a nearby wall. They walked towards it to get a closer look, and stood for a while examining it the way curious people look at murals in museums and churches.
The walk back was through familiar territory: they returned along the same route, seeing things they had seen moments earlier, but from the opposite direction. A small bulldozer-like vehicle that hadn’t caught their attention earlier looked impressive this time, standing alone in a vacant plot.
Back home, they sat down and looked at the pictures they had taken. It was a nice town, they agreed, and decided they should visit it more often.
7 thoughts on “Visiting places”
Stuck behind a computer in the Middle East, she marvelled at the couple’s observations and photographs on a Saturday evening.
Leela, a clarification is due: it didn’t happen as portrayed here. We went for a walk; things around us somehow seemed different; we took pictures; and then I got this idea about a couple who rarely travel (HE doesn’t like to) and hence SHE pretends to be a tourist in their own town whenever she goes out. I casually mentioned the idea to my wife during the walk, and when I got back home I explored it a bit through this post.
A rule of thumb: When I write in first person, it is all factual; when I use the third person, there may be a bit of “masala” in there 🙂
Lovely post and thanks for making me see I can see again.
Tommie Arndt? He looks like Minnie Me of Austin Powers. You guys do live in an ecclectic place.
We love the ‘masala’
LOVE the idea. Even if its not exactly the way it happened. 🙂