Valencia. My Lord Polaroid
Corfu sounds amazing. I’ve always wanted to go to Greece and your stories make e want to go even more. I’ve left for my holiday too. We are in Valencia now for a family reunion. My uncle lives in Valencia and at some point we decided to do a family reunion in Spain. So the whole family came down here. We have taken it slow on our way. My grandparents travelled with us and we did on Lyon and Barcelona on our way down, staying for two nights in both cities so we would have a day to look around.
On this drive I’ve discovered the power of a picture. They say it is worth more than a thousand words and I certainly believe it now. I’ve taken my Polaroid camera with me to capture the moments and cities we visit. As we were watching a magician in Lyon on our last night I decided I wouldn’t give him a euro, but a photo of himself doing what he did every night. When I gave him the Polaroid he was so surprised and grateful. It was worth much more than just giving him some money.
The real experience though was in Barcelona. We were at the Santa Maria del Mar, a cathedral close to the sea with a rich story. The sun was getting lower and there was this really beautiful warm light on the front of the church. At the entrance of the church there was this woman. I think she sat there every day on those steps and I don’t think she owned much more than the clothes on her body. But she was sitting there in that beautiful light and I took a Polaroid picture of her. She didn’t notice I took it and when the colors came into the photo I walked up to her and gave it to her. It was such a beautiful moment. She was so happy. At first she didn’t notice what it was, but when I looked back she was smiling, holding te picture to her heart and she almost cried. She made a gesture like she thanked the saint Maria who the church was named after. She kept looking at me and at the photo. I couldn’t have achieved that happiness and gratitude with some money, I gave her something so much more valuable. As I left the square I waved at her and she blew me a kiss. It was such a special moment. I don’t think I will ever forget it.
I don’t know why people are so surprised or happy with a picture. It is not like nobody makes any pictures these days, quite the opposite really. So it is not like it is something that special. But that moment with that lady in front of the church made that photo even more beautiful. This way it is actually more fun giving the photo’s away.
We’re going to the beach so I’ll wrap it up. Tell me about Cinque Terre in your next letter! Tell me about the colorful houses and the small, steep streets that always end at the sea.