It's not unusual in Venice to turn a corner and find some aspect of the past--usually architectural--right before you; in fact, it's one of the reasons people come here. But in the midst of running errands the other day I turned a corner and encountered something from a more recent era, which for all its relative temporal proximity seems as distant and irretrievable as some 16th century social custom: what appeared to be two people writing postcards.
There they sat, posed in just the way once common among tourists everywhere: having paused to refresh themselves with a drink following a day of sightseeing and bent over the table, scribbling some words in haste to the folks back home.
In fact, they might not have been tourists, and indeed, they might not have been writing postcards at all.
I didn't dare check as I passed. I didn't want to know. Like some romantically-inclined tourist myself, I didn't want to risk ruining what appeared to be a perfectly lit tableau of a time long lost.