There are places that take your heart away instantly. These places stay in your mind and heart and with time they become your own imagined paradises. Whenever you are not there you long for them. You long for something that you realize you have created yourself but nevertheless are convinced that exists.
My place seems to be Italy. A love story I have tried to avoid. I have reasoned and I have doubted my feelings. They won’t go away. Don’t get me wrong, Italy is not perfect. It is more. It is real.
Last Sunday I arrived in Sicily. The feeling took over as soon as I got out of the airport in Catania and stepped on the bus that takes tourists like me to the center. I say it again: don’t get me wrong. It’s not as peachy as it sounds. But this is one weird love affair I haven’t been able to f#*@k up. Mostly because there are no other people involved like in a “normal” relationship. Yet, Italy has ‘given’ me people that are more friendly than I could ever deserve. People I long to meet again. It has generously given me views, food, wine and desserts to die for. Most of all, it has given me hot, scorching, Sicilian sun.
The Sicilian sun is overwhelming for a Finn. The clear, blue sea is a bit cold but inviting. Mount Etna, which I see from my window – stupendous. During the day I dig my hands in the dirt and I think I’m going to die when the sun climbs high up in the sky. When the afternoon comes I take a shower, I eat and I feel the heat giving up a little. As the afternoon turns towards the evening I step outside and vanish into the gentle expectance of the smooth night.