Monday, November 5, 2012
Back to Reality (or What Passes for It)
"The Signora had no business to do it," said Miss Bartlett, "no business at all. She promised us south rooms with a view close together, instead of which here are north rooms, looking into a courtyard, and a long way apart. Oh, Lucy!"
Having once read Forster - or seen Merchant-Ivory, for that matter - I suppose any hotel room that looks out on water will inevitably call up visions of Lucy Honeychurch and her trying Cousin Charlotte.
Our pleasant little rooms this past weekend looked out on the Bosporus rather than the Arno, but it was a gratifying view nonetheless, even if the Otel Stella Theodora lacked the cosy English charm of the Pensione Bertolini (not to mention anything as toothsome as Julian Sands in his prime. Or Simon Callow for that matter, who was truth to tell always rather more my taste). A short trip such as this one was can seem rather surreal on one's return, sudden and unwelcome, to reality; that feeling is perhaps amplified when the contrast between two places - the immense energy and history, layer on layer, in Istanbul, as opposed to the lethargic artifice of this invented Sandlandian semi-metropolis - is so great.
But here I am again, and while Mr. Muscato continues his little autumn jaunt, I return to the grindstone, a dubious pleasure allayed only by the ferocious joy of two small dogs. What they'll do when the one they really care about returns later this week, I hardly dare think...