three Europes

1. A steep and crooked alley, armspan’s width, cobbled; a tiny car squeezed between walls of stone or stucco that are studded with iron grilles, draping flowerpots, drying towels, and sleeping cats.

2. A soccer field reached by a pedestrian bridge that spans four lanes of traffic; giant billboards at the roundabout; terraces of apartment blocks rising on the hills opposite with anarchist graffiti on their lower walls and satellite dishes on their roofs.

3. Long, cool corridors, subdued indirect lighting, brushed steel and blond wood; panini, quiche, and bagels at the cafe; quadrilingual instructions on the assorted recycling bins.

I know there are many more Europes; these are the three that stick in my mind on my first day back in the US.

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