I could take endless photos of the old buildings here in Cartagena de Indias. They are so beautiful and magical. Large wooden doors with subtle entrances that guard the secrets inside. Balconies overflowing with flowers, shrouded in mystery. We pass by briefly, catch a glimpse and try to imagine the life that that takes shape in this old city. But we remain strangers, outsiders.
Perhaps I will find the clues once I finally get the chance to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He called Cartagena home and several of his books were inspired by these magical streets we wandered today.
This post was going to be about the building where we live in Cagliari, or rather the apartment block they are building opposite (neither of which have green heart shutters like the ones above that I love).
I was going to tell you how I hadn’t even noticed the construction noise until a friend came over for lunch one day and pointed it out. For us, ex-Beirutis, the banging and clanging is normal background sound which we only notice-and sometimes even miss-in its absence.
In fact I was going to admit how glad I was to realise that in Cagliari we are also living in full view and earshot of a building site. It is familiar, even comforting. And on long afternoons when we are in need of distraction or reassurance we can open the kitchen door, step out onto the balcony and watch the red ‘giraffe’ crane at work, to remind us of other afternoons on our other terrace when we would watch a yellow ‘giraffe’ or the two diggers named ‘dusty nose’ and ‘fork mouth’.
I was going to end this post with a photo of the red giraffe in action. But instead I took the photo below, of another building in a tiny village, San Greogorio, that we visited this sunny Sunday morning, with pistachio ice cream coloured walls, that reminded me of the walls of our baby’s bedroom in our other house, in our other life.