Venice is like Vegas

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I was lucky to visit Las Vegas in 2016. I found the city just as crazy as it was sold to me for years on TV shows and other American movies. I arrived there by plane, and the sight of this city coming from nowhere in the middle of the desert was completely surreal.

You see, cities are often placed in logical areas, where first populations had access to resources like fertilized land and water. Vegas doesn’t tick the boxes. It wasn’t meant to be, yet here it is, in all its extravagance.

I visited Venice in December last year, and I had a similar feeling. Not that the city wasn’t meant to be: Venice is built on islands of a lagoon which provided protection for the city and important commerce opportunities. This time, the surreal feeling came from the constructions. You see, most of the city is built on stilts. One of the churches near San Marco’s place is built on 1 million wooden stilts. The church is magnificent and decorated with tons of marble.

If Las Vegas could be built in the modern ages by bringing water and resources in the middle of the desert, I still have a hard time to imagine people over a thousand years ago building a magical city on wooden stilts, that is still up to this day.

Venice is sinking in the lagoon, slowly enough so that you should be able to visit it before you die, provided global warming hasn’t drowned it before. Also, starting next summer, there will be a tax for all tourists entering the city. The ancient city is slowly but surely turning into an open-air museum, but the trip is well worth the money, believe me!

Adulting through New Year wishes

Photo by Mockaroon on Unsplash

New Year wishes are daunting. This ancient tradition everyone expects but no one wants to follow, each year, just as you are in the rush for the holidays, running errands to find presents for everyone, digging up this old turkey recipe you left in a cupboard, cleaning the house for all the guests that will come over and once again walking barefooted on this Christmas tree needle on the floor (ouch!).

Yet, as a responsible adult, and perhaps also as a professional, you are expected to draft new year wishes for your contacts, friends, family, and so on. Last year’s resolution was to anticipate this task, for once, but it didn’t work, did it?

That’s how I felt all day. I started preparing my new year wishes for all my professional contacts mid-December. I drafted tens of personalized messages on a spreadsheet, listing all the contacts I should send my wishes to, the preferred medium on which we communicate (mail, What’s App, etc.) and the message. I naively thought I’d be able to send everything on January 1st. Turns out the annual hangover didn’t let me get off the couch.

I procrastinated until today, January 7th, first Monday of the year. I spent all afternoon sending emails, answering emails, and copy/pasting thoughtful notes. It was not done on January 1st, but it’s done. That must count for a couple of adulting points, right?