My feet are noisy against the paved street, wet from a light drizzle that's been dancing in the morning wind. The air is crisp, but not cold. I am well-dressed anyways, so the dampness doesn't reach my wimpy little skin.
The streets don't look awake yet, even if the morning's well on its way. Mind you, it's Sunday, so everybody's taking their time. I've had fresh bread, cheese, eggs and coffee for breakfast and I've enjoyed a deep sleep in a comfortable bed, something I've been missing over the past few days.
I choose the closest of the bridges that cross over to the old city. Under it, yesterday, laid an empty cobbled pathway empty of noise or people. This morning, the story's completely different. Mind you, it's Sunday, so the market's already busy with housewives and older men with dogs and young people and noisy little kids and everyone else.
Pretty girls are selling bread or fruits among yelling men praising the quality of their merchandise. Couples argue loudly over what type of deli they should get, and from who. Oblivious teenagers embrace, further away from the crowd, ignoring the activity all around.
I feel large and heavy with my bag, and my first steps into the crowd are uneasy. Mind you, it's Sunday so it's a busy time to wander around. But the crowd feels warm and safe, and everyone's just really here to shop for their weekly supply of fresh wonders.
As I start walking, waves of smells invade my nose. Morning waffles, flowers, deli, grilled quails. A symphony of aromas, almost overwhelming, floats around. I stop and close my eyes. I can hear numerous different languages, accents, tones.
I stop at some stalls, just to say hello, enquire about a specific product or buy something. Everybody's light-hearted and looks happy to be here. I buy bread, fruits, and something that looks like a caterpillar but is called surimi crab. And I dream that she's here, holding my hand, with her sparkly eyes filled with excitement. Mind you, it's Sunday so she's probably home, taking it easy and getting ready for yoga. But if she were here, I'd buy her flowers and kiss her by the canal and make sure she keeps warm and tell her things that I've been burning about...
Instead, I just smile, enjoy my last strawberry and slowly head for the train station.