Places

Sevilla. Somewhere in the quiet summer, heat making the smells of walls and trees and edible things and not-so-edible things swell like ripe fruit. The walls are pure white light, the nothern parts smell of sand, the southern parts, near the river, are sweaty and pervaded by sweet smokes of decay. Huge figs trees are home for whole families of cats that hang over the thick waters, heavy and quiet. They live in the air, side by side with the drowsy passers-by that hurry along the banks to somewhere away from the sun. Food is rich, and is afraid neither of taste, nor of the mellowness of olive oil, nor of abundance or sugar or spice. Grenades ripen slowly until they are picked and cracked open on the iron arms of the benches. Dogs play with fallen oranges–they are already ripe in spite of their green crust, and they are left to burt under the pecks of the birds. The nights are warm and reverberate the chords of the flamenco guitarists. I walked on, the streets seemed to move behind me beyond recognition, and I was never afraid of getting lost. 

Odessa. Vast streets under incredible old and twisted pines. I hope they never cut those pines. I fear Ukraine at large will remain a mystery to me. But the beautiful façades, subtly crumbling, the labyrinthine branches of the pines, the cafés that all sought to be unforgettable in their own way (and I forgot none of them in fact), unnaturally beautiful girls tottering on needle-like heels and omnipresent French music and pictures of elegant Parisian ladies, as if their fantasies still favoured the women of our Western stretch of land when all of Europe dreams of Ukrainian beauties… Cats and stray dogs on the rocky beach where we ate almonds in fruit jelly, the most uncannily delicious sweet you can imagine, all fruit and fragrance under the aspect of a garish wax sausage, and dolphins dancing in their pool to the sound of Nightwish songs. I was relieved afterwards to read more about captive dolphins. They are occasionally mistreated and confined to a small place where they get bored of life and seldom want to mate anymore. But one of the dolphins in Odessa had an offspring, and was seen swimming with it around the pool while the others capered and threw balloons in the air. Ukraine may be the least environmentally minded contry I’ve been to, but at least they seem to treat their dolphins properly . 

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