Summer. A time for ultra-ready cars, unlikely train rides, for overcrowded gas stations filled with wild housewives fighting for that last “appetizing” sandwich. A time when gentlemen conquer their coffee cups elbowing like maories in a rugby game. In front of cashiers drenched with sweat penetrating with their threatening gaze is the old man who slowly takes out of his pocket one coin at a time to reach those 72 cents, while behind him people cheer at every coin drop.
Then, families that get back to the car with four sandwiches, beverages, and pastries, and spent more than a day and Aunt Mary’s retirement home at Cesenatico. Those who can’t do without a pair of “fun” flip flops with the Brazilian flag on them to accompany them to the beaches of Jesolo and payed more for the flip flops than a pair of Chanel shoes.
Summer. A time of flights. Low cost naturally. Naturally. So holidays are planned at the last minute, on those discount deals, and last seats available. And little does it matter if in their suitcase they have mountain climbing shoes but find themselves booking for a Tunisian beach.
The important thing is that it’s abroad. For the love of God. Anywhere, as long as it’s away from one of the most beautiful areas of the world like that strange peninsula with magnificent mountains and immersed in sea that we call Italy.
So, while a multitude of Germans, Japanese, Americans, Peruvians, and Ecuadorians launch themselves astonished and ecstatic in Venice, Italians that say “Venice is just around the corner, I’ll get to it sooner or later” throw themselves in exotic places. Little does it matter to them domestic exoticism and good market. How can you compare?
Coming back, the unaware and a little biased friend asks: What did you see? And that is when the phrase: “You should see the places” is used, as they swipe their smartphones dozens and dozens of ‘him and her’ pictures at the beach, in the water, while they eat, sleep, eat, sleep. Every now and again a distracted photo will pop up of a pile of clayey rubble, and the enthusiasm will become uncontrollable. Roman remains. Greek sculptures. Christian manufactures. You see them, and think that behind the Roma Termini train station, half subscribed, you’ve seen better. How can you comape?
And the selfies! No. You can’t show those anymore, if not at the “exiled of the inter-webs”. Those document live from your vacation away from you friends. So, as you are sweating on your desk, the orders come in: those two at the check-in, after the check-in, then under one wing then the other of the airplane, then the airplane stairs, then on the seat, then on the window, then getting coffee with a dreamy face as if you’re looking at water in the desert, then snacking, and every step because “my friend sweating while he’s working can’t miss this”. And so, here are the spaghetti. The lobster. The long nap. The camp-bed. The shell. The rock. The dog. The cat. The horse. The sunset. The bonfire. The moon. The clouds.
The panic provoked from take-off and lack of internet connection, but you can always compensate with an overload of photos that look like sloppy copies from postcards and unfocused framing that talk about big cheeks and duck faces, smiling and provoking.
If you think about it, the selfie was just the old self-timer or the broken-winded pass-byer with an honest face (because we don’ want our camera stolen) to whom we asked to take a shot of that memory. Not today! Today we don’t need pass-byers. Of shaky and unique self-timers in which there was always someone caught in the middle of running to take the picture. Of memories, only ours. We don’t need them anymore.
We have all we need. The film of our own lives. Our existence available for people’s use. As long as it is shared, commented, or liked.
But that friend still insists: c’mon, tell me, how was it? And that is when you use that ruthless lapidary: beautiful! Not any other adjective, nor indication, nor description, nor curiosity, nor particularity, nor shade. Yup. Beautiful. And then: but didn’t you see the photos on my facebook page?
Yes. Sorry. What was I thinking. Let’s take a good selfie with the lobster. Yeah. With its claws pinching our noses. Beautiful!