Meta, I know.
When P and I were traveling in 2011, we found this group of old men in Lake Ohrid, Macedonia that had it down to a science. Non-obtrusive, not particularly noticeable, but ever-present, watching, chuckling, commenting.
We passed by them multiple times a day, and they always seemed so content. I would say a small ‘hello’ (in English) and invariably they would all peer up at me, until one got the courage say ‘Alo!’ amidst the grins of his peers.
In the plaza they were surrounded by bars, cafes, chicken rotisseries and a mobile donut vendor (I can’t even mention this without salivating – best. donuts. ever.). People would swirl about them, heading out for a meal, home from work or on their way to one of the lakeside dance clubs.
As we sat at our favorite outdoor bar table, we would watch them obviously needle each other, laughing. Sometimes making a small comment to a passerby, or just sitting in comfortable silence – watching.
It was not their leisure I envied so much, but their perfect niche in their corner of the world.
A perfect seat to watch day pass to night, children pass to adulthood, and the moon rise over their town.
The Art of the Everyday – February 14: Travel Dispatch – reflections from traipses about the globe.