it has been dreadfully cold, in this strange transition from autumn to winter. most of the leaves have been cast onto the ground, pale brown and damp; but there are still some leaves glistening golden in the weak sun, stubbornly holding on to dried branches. the sun sets early now, but the other day i managed to walk to my bus stop when it was still a blueish hue of dark -- i looked up and it was all endless sky to me. sometimes i feel like paris is a gigantic castle on the clouds. as if we were a city plucked from earth and set up so high we never have the clouds to remind us how grounded we are. the onset of winter has come with blankets of condensation covering the bus windows in and out, and it feels like we are placeless. there are no majestic architecture or little symbols of the city for context, but only a shroud of neon colours and vague shapes that surround us. like impressionists gone trippy. look -- what the skies at dusk can do with their clean colours and brush strokes we can do with the city lights and rain, up in our own personal sky. we think that condensation tends to cloud things, but there are dreamworlds painted on the glass of buses only funnily enough, revealed by condensation and streetlights. i can't tell if we are inside or outside the dreamworld. i notice that not one, but two adults use their coat sleeves to wipe the condensation off, as if to glimpse at the reality/dreamworld, like how children use the frosted windows as their personal canvases. it still doesn't feel real sometimes, and even more so now that i'm leaving.
when it was october in italy, i sat outside the doge's palace and at the san marco piazzo and came to terms with how underwhelmed i have been, traveling around europe thus far. and how disgusted i was with venice, the largest tourist trap, when it was the stuff of literature and history in my teenage years. there was a yearning for the times when my imagination reigned and places were myth and fable again. 'his imagination was everything, but he needed to make the trip in order to understand this obvious fact. he took the first plane home.' i used to hate paris, never understood the romanticism, but i think now, even after all the traveling, it is the place which reignited my imagination again.