Couldn’t think of a title, so I think WordPress is just going to put in random numbers instead. I’m cool with that.
I arrived in Lucca this morning and just from the walk from the train station to the hostel I can tell already it is my favourite stop so far. Which… shed some light onto a recent realisation I have had.
Which is, I’m not, actually, having any fun. This is a problem, could be for a few reasons, and I need to figure out what they are so I can fix it.
Now, having fun and enjoying one’s self are not necessarily the same thing. I’m enjoying plenty of things. Train rides, for instance, much more than I should do for something that is effectually sitting in an uncomfortable seat for anywhere between one and six (so far) hours at a time. I enjoy walking around towns and cities and seeing things that are interesting or pretty or different. I also enjoy taking pictures of said things. But I’m not actually having any fun.
Partially, I think it’s ’cause I’m somewhat lonely, or to be less melodramatic, lacking in normal human contact. When I got to the hostel in Pisa there was a guy on the bed next to mine who’d just arrived and we got chatting and took a walk around the city, saw the tower, and later got some dinner. I had fun that day. I played poker with some people I met in the hostel in Genova and that was also fun. Other than that…
Secondly, I’m not sure if it’s to do with my self-imposed budgetary constrictions, because I pretty much can’t do anything, or eat most of the things I’d love to eat (which is kinda good, because it’s all cakes, gelato and sugary stuff that I don’t need to eat anyway). Point is though, I’m artificially strapped for cash which means watching what I eat very carefully, what I spend on buses, admission to things etc. This may be a contributing factor. That said, I’m not really sure what the things are that I would have done if money hadn’t been an issue up to this point, but still.
Thirdly, and here’s where we circle back around to my original point about Lucca, I think it might have quite a bit to do with the places I’ve been visiting so far. For instance, I’ve just come from Florence, purportedly one of Italy’s finest cities for tourists. After I’d walked around and seen all the big churches and pretty buildings (and they really were, in all fairness) I was basically all “yeah, meh, I’m done here.” And that took maybe two hours. big cities bore me, I think. This actually harks back to and reminds me of the two road trips I took around the US. The first, two month one, I hit 13 of the major US cities in 64 days. Big cities that should be interesting, NY, LA, NO, SF etc (haha, screw you), and yet some of (not all of, though) my favourite times or memories are really obscure things like waiting around in huge parking lots on the side of an interstate while having a rest break from one of the Greyhound buses. Similarly, when I did the three week trip with Kitty and latterly Maya, while we started in LA and SF respectively, the most fun parts (for me) were cruising through small towns on the edge of highways and seeing places like that, rather than the big cities. Visit Trinidad in northern Cali if you ever get the chance, but fuck Eureka in the face with a sharp stick. I’m getting off track. Yes. Big cities bad/boring, small towns interesting for some reason. Someone tell me why that is please? Buuut, because of that somewhat revelatory thought, I’m thinking of scrapping Verona and Venice from my list completely and finding some small town along the way to hang in instead. Who knows?
Oh yeah. Lucca, right, yes. It’s all kinds of diddy. It’s a very, very old town that is still completely surrounded by huge walls (I read 12 meters high, but they don’t look it to me) that are something like 30 meters thick (see above RE accuracy of measurements). The town has turned the top of these walls into a lovely walkway, almost like a very long, narrow park, with tree-lined avenues and the like. The total length of the walls that encircle the entire town is 5.5kms. I walked around it this afternoon in 45 minutes exactly. The guide book said it’d take an hour and a half. Pft. Fatass authors.