Friday, November 10, 2023

View from a Café. Cinque Terre (Part 2)

Parked at a sidewalk café sipping cappuccino I drink in the flavor of the town with the parade of passers by.

Frothingham in Chinque Terre

A torrent of Italian words accompanied by a flurry of gestures as an old man communicates an unobserved transgression to a young man.

An aggressive cadre of pigeons patrol for dropped food. Large pieces get shaken, tossed, and fought over. An effective but inefficient city beautification program.

The hiking poles seem unnecessary considering his muscular legs could easily be mistaken for tree trunks.

Punctuated with brief comments in French, each drag on her cigarette is like Snoop Dog maximizing a bong hit. After grinding the butt on the cobblestones with the toe of her ASICS, she takes 3 pulls on a vape pen and then lights up another cigarette.

One is showing off her athleticism with a a second skin of spandex. One is hiding her lack of it in jean shorts and a flowing top. One is attacking the steep incline; one is defending against it. 

His fanny pack looks like his belt swallowed an opossum.

OK? Stop. OK. No. OK? Stop. Now. OK. Two years old with the pout of a supermodel. And the communications style of a master drill sergeant.

Two wiener dogs. One longhair. One short hair. Joyful to be out on a walk. They show no additional appreciation that they are in a destination where the wealthy park their super yachts.

For every fried shrimp he maneuvers from the paper cone to his mouth, one bounces off his belly on to the cobblestones. Companion mortified. Pigeons ecstatic.

That sunburn has to hurt. In a cartoon there would be wavy lines representing radiating heat.

Alligator shoes, perfectly tailored azure suit, crimson tie and crisp pink shirt leads the eye up to designer sunglasses and mousse saturated hair. An island in a sea of tourists in t-shirts and sun dresses.

"You're the one who chose the date," the tour guide explains into his phone. "I am here, you are not. There is no refund." After an extended pause, he speaks again, "You chose the date. You can complain to no one. I am here. You are not. There will be no refund."

"Bambina!" The delighted old woman exclaims as she pulls the infant towards here and plants a loud kiss on the top of its head. Has she not seen her grandchild in months or minutes?


Join me for coffee in Amsterdam: View from a sidewalk cafe. Amsterdam.


NOTE: Cinque Terre is actually 5 different villages. I've combined the highlights of café sitting observations from three of them (Monterosso, Vernazza, and Manarola) and nearby Porto Fino over 4 days in June 2023.

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