27 December 2007

From the bridge

“If Venice had no bridge, Europe would be an island.”
- Mario Stefani

I hit the post-Christmas sales at the two ipermercati (“hypermarkets?”), Panorama and ValeCenter – Venice’s equivalent of Target Greatland. Each of these shopping expeditions requires a brief, grim bus trip to the mainland, something I can hardly bear to do.

When I must do it, I always look forward to being on the bridge as I’m coming home. The experience is exactly like the one I have when I come back to Manhattan from IKEA in New Jersey: an annoying wait for departure, a cramped, somewhat grubby seat among the other tired and crabby passengers, bad radio music, traffic on the freeway. But then…

I get that first glimpse of my Avalon, my fairytale home – Ah, there it is, just over this bit of water!

If you have ever seen Mel Gibson's Braveheart, you know what I feel when I say to myself, silently but a little fiercely, “It’s my island.”