Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Imagine my surprise, last week, when the pleasant-faced stranger in the bar on Maratea railway station recognized me as the person who had blogged about my previous visit to that delightful little corner of southern Italy. He had followed a section of the itinerary I posted on the Web and now here he was. And here I was, walking straight into his morning as he sat there in the bar, waiting for his train.
John from Bristol, if you are reading this, I just want to tell you that you made my day!
For one thing, I love synchronicity. I mean, what were the chances of our meeting up in that place at that moment in time? My friend Kim says that synchronicity is a sure sign that "...things are going well and life is happening as it should." I am sure she is right. I believe that, too.
Secondly, I always thought I had a totally forgettable face. So it amazed me that someone would recognize me merely from a couple of photos posted on the Internet.
On the way home, Sky and I paid a brief visit to Sorrento. Why, I wondered, as we sat in a clifftop cafe drinking wine and looking at Vesuvius across the Bay, do people cluster so thickly in the same old tourist hotspots when there are so many other lovely places to discover? Sorrento is a picturesque spot, to be sure, but give me Maratea any time. Sky said he felt the same.
On second thoughts, I am selfishly glad that most people tend to stick to the tourist trail. Tourism eventually corrupts every beautiful place, stealing its innocence and turning it inexorably into something less than it was before.
Yet I, too, am a tourist sometimes. Just as with the destruction of the environment by human exploitation and overpopulation, I am one of those lamenting the problem and at the same time, by my very existence. I am also part of its cause. A sobering thought.