The time has come to take off. I look at lists and rankings. I look at prospects. The sun and sea and no humans. I've always been obsessed with buildings. They are where people live and where they hide. Imagine a building without walls – all the rooms like little microcosms, chaoses, pretending that each-other do not exist. Then you go on holiday. You search for the sun and sea, without humans. But humans always find me. Each time I seek to find myself, I find myself escaping, and in spite of all the sun that blinds me, the only direct light I can hope for, comes to me through reflection. Irony is a measure of inability to come close to understanding and connecting with another one and self-irony is an attempt to overcome that distance, by coming close to one’s own self. 




I arrive – excited not to miss surprises, not to miss first reactions, not to pass through a variety of all transitional phases unnoticed. Soon after, I am worried about missing a moment. I become greedy - insatiably grabbing all the moments before they happen. Everything is intense, I need days to find a pace, to slow down and speed up at the same time, as not to confuse the tracks. The room is ugly, but I try to like it, the view is shocking but that's why I came. After all, those days I need to catch a rhythm, are all the days I have. Maybe this is the reason for finding repetition. Only rhyme is now missed to complete the great harmony, of this moment. I might come back in July. 




Breakfast is loud. It is a disturbing situation in which an enormous amount of silent couples are seated, creating unbearable noise. He sits while she chooses her combination of ham, eggs, cheese and fruit, for him and for her. Then he goes for something else, juice and coffee or a bowl of oats with milk, while she waits at the table. When he comes back, she leaves again for the bread that is now toasted. Finally, they sit together and eat in silence, far away from home – one of dozens or even hundreds of couples, chewing together in a big room. The sound we all hear is the sound of the serving machinery, subtly reminding us all that we are on holiday. 




After six days, I finally witness someone else eating (being) alone. It is a rainy day, I follow a young man on his way to an indoor market where he buys a plastic rain coat in neon green. Other than us, there are no other loners around.




The employees at the hotel are the first to notice that I am alone. My appearance seems strange simply because I am not accompanied. I cannot tell if they are suspicious or if it is I who expects them to be, since I am here on a mission and the only one who knows it. Watching others while they are fragile, weak and alone makes me feel unsettled. 




I turn off the light.

I lay down.

I imagine how big this hotel is.
The idea that we are allowed in such a big building
to be neighbors for ten days
excites me so much.

Foreign, strange, unknown people
approach each-other only when moving between floors 

avoid eye contact while eating
do not recognize each-other on the street.

I hear the sound of footsteps,
sharp high heels at 1AM sharp
every night,
I can picture the kind of shoes
that map the identical trajectory
between the door and the bed
bed and the bathroom
bathroom and the balcony
that is parallel to my little microcosm,


(parallel to the little universe of mine)
one floor below. 


This abstract line makes me feel restless and secure at the same time,

precisely because it is concrete.




The first couple opens the dance floor. They are in their eighties and dance at the empty podium, dappled by the streams of a light show that is not at their tempo. Their dance is mechanic, they do not smile, they are not even shy. They simply act as they would for any other routine activity. They finish, here they sit again in silence, no words, no contact. They encourage the others to stand up, suddenly I find myself crying. Nothing touches me more than old people dancing. You can see that they have them - the moves, but their bodies are too slow to follow the long forgotten joy. 




I walk in circles but not because I want to. After some days, I have seen every beach, the streets start to repeat themselves. No matter where I go, I end up in similar corners. I orient myself towards places that feel familiar or places that I have seen before. No matter where I am, landmarks are omnipresent. We are drawn to these places, even before we pack our bags. In reality, they appear quite different from what we were promised, but we do not give up, we return often, counting the days left to discover the right angle.




A group of us gathers to head towards to an island. We are given an exclusive tour around it in a clear, submerged part of the boat that should impress us with spectacular views of the underwater world. No fish are visible, only the greenish-blue that surrounds us, which we nevertheless photograph endlessly.


This is massively disappointing for anyone who has ever snorkeled. It is not surprising that a few of us are more interested in the running motor of the boat. After all, disappointment is to be counted on in this experience, so who ever expected more should feel ashamed for expecting it, and before this shame is visible, we should all hide it well. I leave the lower deck, impressed by the skyline left far away behind us. 





I walk for hours. I start from Levante beach, take a right towards city hall. I ask the travel agency for an old brochure with all the skyscrapers listed, that I was previously told about. They can not find it, but after a short wait an employee brings me a poster from the same edition. It is impressive. 25 of the highest buildings are presented with detailed illustrations. I am excited. I continue my walk, through Julio Iglesias park, built in the seventies by a famous Spanish architect, whose buildings I like to visit whenever they are around. At its end there is an amphitheater closed to the public due to renovations. I watch a worker painting the floor white, at least that is what he appears to be doing, maybe he is not painting at all. It is around noon, the sun is strong and I can feel how the reflection of the ground is making his job even more exhausting. My hands are sweating because my camera is hot. It is silent, in spite of his machine and my breathing. We are both aware of each other. Isn’t it funny how what literally stands in the middle of the words "tourist" (and) "agency"  and what connects them so brutally is the word – stage? 




We arrive to the Island of Peacocks. The few that remain can be seen behind a fence, in a tiny cage, making terrible noises. Children are unhappy about this barrier, adults are indifferent. The path through the island is well marked for safety reasons, giving a sense that there is only one way towards the summit. We follow obediently and once we reach the top, we get excited about the danger we have discovered (we discover). Ropes mark the forbidden zone, where the monument-like piece of stone is situated, built to emphasize this little victory. We all flirt with the idea of breaking this final barrier, and very soon, we find ourselves asking each other for a photograph taken right next to it. 




I hear two young men, approach the summit, exchanging their reactions. They gasp, impressed, over the moon. They react like I remember myself reacting on the breathtaking cliffs of Madeira. Having experienced that, I find them silly, but I am touched by the possibility of witnessing their moment of joy. "End of the world, like another planet, we made it, wow and ou." With the city of the largest density of skyscrapers per inhabitant in the world in the background of this scene, it is hard to believe them. They remain in the comfort zone, safe behind the ropes, while I remind myself, that natural wonders are not to be compared. 




The guy spoke English well with a strong French accent. He told me to come again in two days and I am glad to see that he meant it and that he didn’t forget me. The elevator ride takes about a minute to reach the 21st floor. I am anxious, not only because I am alone with a stranger in a small room who is taking me to another stranger's empty flat, but also because I have the chance to finally see the sea from the first row of skyscrapers. (I saw it.)




I see a woman writing hastily in her notebook. A few steps away a band is playing a hard rock cover of the "Wicked Game". Two old ladies stop for a moment to look up at workers on a construction site who are cleaning the facade of a prominent skyscraper. They remind me of another couple I saw a couple of days ago watching a worker paint a balcony fence for twenty minutes. They remind me of hotel guests watching a cook fry eggs, sausages and pancakes every morning in front of our eyes. This reminds me of my hesitation to photograph a maid while she is cleaning, as if this gesture will unveil the unwritten rules of the power game we all unconsciously play. In order to rest from one's own work, far away from home one is permitted to look down on the displayed work of others. The worker is a tourist, the worker is a tourist attraction. 


It is a relief, joy has no age. It seems that out there, at any time, this town is a dance floor. People dance and drink and eat all day long. They come to enjoy and that is what they do. I struggle with my instinct to judge as I use my own taste to measure, but once I manage to relax, I find my way to join in. The transformation of an observer into a participant is a delicate process of realization. No matter which role we choose, we are equal actors in the constructed situation of tourism. 




On the way back we are all more relaxed. We reach some level of solidarity and trust on the sharp peak of the island. We are still on the path, but our need to wander is strong. I am followed by two British boys. I listen to them debating on whether to jump over the wooden fence to see what is on the other side. The older one is unsure, using his slippery flip-flops as an excuse not to give it a try. The younger one is relieved when I go ahead, encouraged to follow me on the path to the old lighthouse. We visit it together, while his brother waits at a safe distance. 




I walk down to the water, off the beaten track, performing my very favourite activity whenever I am by the sea. Rocks are flat, not slippery, elegantly entering the ocean. I am being watched from the hill by the same two guys whose joyful moment I witnessed on the summit. They tell me I am brave. I invite them to join me. I gently instruct them on how to make it over. "Just walk", I say. They do. We laugh together. 




This island is an antipode to the city that we have just escaped, kept well protected from its architecture. As the “I” slips easily to “you”, the landmarks are similarly interchangeable. Only from here can we see that we have somewhere to go back to. But over there, I walk in all directions until I reach the boundaries of what we perceive to be the city.



A corrida draws the line between two zones of rest. It is a place of spectacle for visitors who come on holiday. It is a place where spectacle ends for those who live nearby and make the holidays of visitors possible. They return to these buildings to sleep and relax before another day down on the coast. Even though the architecture and atmosphere remind me of home, I am clearly a stranger here. Just a few streets away from the zone that is meant for me, I am out of place. I am a disturbance. 








Here is another. Just like the island of peacocks, this one is a landmark, but of a different kind. Built as a home for 269 households, and 362 cars, with 47 floors above and 3 below the ground, this 192 meters tall tower was never inhabited. Designed with the intention of being the highest residential building in Europe, it stands here as a monument of an unsuccessful business, a symbol of miscalculation and incompetence. Silence, heat and surreality of this wondrous scene make me feel dizzy. I walk around it slowly, desperate to embrace it. I can’t decide what moves me more, people who live in buildings or buildings that people abandon. 




I wonder who lives in these buildings, and what their view is like. I approach people, hoping to get a few questions answered. Why here, what here, where else? 


Girls look friendly but are not in the mood to talk. Wasted young men ask me if I am a lesbian and if not why do I look like one. The loudest of them shows me his pants. He has pissed himself, and they yell that he will piss on me too. 


A woman who I stop because of her stereotypical tourist look, going back from the beach, tells me she is a teacher, coming from the Netherlands every year to visit her parents who spend winters here. She tells me about a good Chinese restaurant, shows me the window from which her family waves at us, and a bit later sends me an email with a view from their balcony. 

An interestingly dressed couple rejects me roughly.

Another one tells me about their motorhome, trips through Europe, hidden places and costs of life. 

A local teenage couple with no knowledge of English tells me their favourite spot is Mc Donalds. 


A guy follows me and asks me to join him for a drink. He is a waiter from Morroco and has just started working in the hotel next to mine. He is here because the season is long. He wants to save money and bring his family here. He himself travels for new experiences and new friends. 


They all come for the sun and sea, they don't mind the buildings, their only concern are loud humans. 



I choose a hiking path of medium difficulty, because I am short of time and the right kind of clothing. Soon it turns out that it is much easer, paved with asphalt and pretty flat. I get excited by (the end of a road) cul de sacs, (a) dead-ends prescribed by city planners. I notice I don't dare take shortcuts through the rocks, because I feel too alone. It seems the further I go, the less people I see. The masses stay at hotel pools, promenades, theme parks and the main beach. A few groups of mostly young couples climbed over one easy rock to isolate themselves from the crowd. A few rocks further a group of nude enthusiasts have the cutest beach. It is not the easiest to approach, but once you do the reward is precious. After that, it becomes wild, windy and steep. The sea remains far below the hills. Only a few lonely bodies are seen in the distance. I walk for two hours, knowing that there is an end, marked by the 17th century tower. The closer I get, the more predictable the landscape becomes. It feels familiar. I am relaxed because I am almost there. I arrive. The tower appears like any other tower. Suddenly, an impressive cliff previously invisible, snaps in front of my eyes. 




At any moment nature is just few meters beneath our feet. We suppress it so well, that we need to go through massive ceremonies of transition to finally reward ourselves with some big discovery of it. Just like culture, which we seek to move us with variety and 'egzotika', nature is always in our neigbourhood. Instead of searching for the extraordinary, I forever move for the surprises. 



On my way back I start to pick out nearby rocks, both from the cliffs and those scattered on the path, happy to expand my stone collection. The only proof I was in Spain comes in these shades of yellow. On the other side, what appears to the eye to be a landscape is a mere place of production for a future stage. Those areas that are seemingly left untouched, have a role in the same machinery. Their ostensible pureness is a part of dirty construction. They are left intentionally as remote zones of contrast and placeholders of desire. Desire for joy, and the sun and sea, and dance and music and sex; pleasure and leisure. 



I decide to skip nightlife, even though it is enormously popular. On my last evening, around 9pm, while it is still early for real clubbing, I take a walk through the so-called strip.  After a few seconds of trying to tempt me inside, a friendly bouncer chats with me in front of the night club. He is surprised that I know where Stonehenge is. He doesn't know that there was a war in Siberia. When I mention Yugoslavia it goes a bit easier, still, he is too young to care. I tell him about some young men I've just seen crazily wasted, laying in vomit with faces covered in blood. He thinks I am tough because I dare to walk around alone. I wonder, how much one needs to be suppressed and exploited at home, in order to search for such a dark, self destructive outlet as the only achievable illusion of freedom. On the other hand, could it be that a few of us who have the chance to endlessly search for beauty, do not know what real exhaustion is. 


After all, even the most "uncreative" of us find a way out of predefined sets of attractions. In a more or less clumsy manner, wordily or muted, we all seek for the invisible, and the invisible of the invisible. I am back in my hotel room, I count exactly sixteen swimming pools in my sight. I haven’t come for the sun and the sea. I have come for humans. 


"They are evergreen or deciduous shrubs or trees growing to 1–18 m in height and forming dense thickets. The largest, Tamarix aphylla, is an evergreen tree that can grow to 18 m tall. They usually grow on saline soils, tolerating up to 15,000 ppm soluble salt and can also tolerate alkaline conditions. Tamarisks are characterized by slender branches and gray-green foliage. The bark of young branches is smooth and reddish brown. As the plants age, the bark becomes bluish-purple, ridged and furrowed. The leaves are scale-like, almost like that of junipers, 1–2 mm long, and overlap each other along the stem. They are often encrusted with salt secretions. The pink to white flowers appear in dense masses on 5–10 cm long spikes at branch tips from March to September, though some species (e.g., T. aphylla) tend to flower during the winter."

If you walked around this block and then made your way to the water, you would discover the orange version of it.

On my second day in Venice, I arrive in Venice at 9:25 am,
I take vaporetto n2 from Giudecca Palanca to San Marco stop. The first place where I recognize sight-seeing is Ponte della Paglia.

"This bridge is a common place from which to view the Bridge of Sighs. The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge’s English name was bequeathed by Lord Byron in the 19th century as a translation from the Italian “Ponte dei sospiri”,[1][2] from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time that the bridge was built,[citation needed] and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals.[citation needed] In addition, little could be seen from inside the bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.[3][4]"

I decide to stay and wait for a moment that no other people are there, or at least not in my frame. I notice a group of three men waiting for the same thing and after 30 minutes I give up.

At Rio Terra s Paternian that I later do not manage to find on the map I watch a man, in his sixties. He doesn’t move, he is watching towards the monument of Manin, the back side of it. From time to time he switches the pose, or he makes a few steps to then stand still again.

I arrive at Piazza San Marco expecting it to be busy at any time, but I am surprised - it is not. I sit against a column. I watch. I watch people from a safe distance. And I feel distant. Irony is a signal for being distant. A signal of inability, even fear to overcome the distance.

I watch people taking pictures of buildings, their roofs and facades, of boats and water, of shopping windows, they continuously photograph their close ones and their own selves. I am thinking, do mobile phones serve us as portals to connect with what we see, or as shields and protection of it.

I watch a little girl watching pigeons, till her parents interrupt her. I watch people being told where to look and what to do. I watch people who show them where to look and where to go.

I find his figure photogenic.
I like his style, the colors of his clothes.
His posture is elegant.

He might be waiting for someone,
It is 9 past 11, he is nervously checking his phone.

As time is passing and I start worrying that my attention is visible, I realize it is not only his appearance composed in this scene that attracts me, but also the tension that our relation creates.

Hello Pucci, I now know his name.
He is warmly smiling at the young woman that hastily approached him. They enter the savings bank together.


On the way here you have passed a prison for women.
You might have noticed three chimneys, standing here as leftovers of factories of which none is active. One of them is Hilton hotel, which you have passed by as well. On the bridge in front of it, I once photographed a man taking a selfie.

In another hotel I photographed a maid while she was cleaning the room because I found her pretty. Later I felt guilty for doing it. Not because I didn’t have her consent, but because the picture turned too beautiful and therefore stood for a power game that I choose not to play. I didn’t know back then that watching workers doing their work is an innate habit of tourists on holiday.

Today, only shipyards are active.
There the entry is forbidden.

Our dancefloor is someone else’s workspace
Our workspace is someone else’s dancefloor.

You certainly didn’t see the market that I visited on Friday, by chance. I took a walk, the one I proposed to you today and got very excited to discover it.

There I found a pajama that I would have bought if Friday was Tuesday.