Looking in windows while travelling

Dreaming of Budapest

I love to look in windows
while travelling.
Not in a creepy,
peeping-Tom
sort of way.
I like to see people’s lives
and what they are having
for dinner.

In Europe
they have books,
entire rooms full.
Temples
in which to worship
stories
and
philosophy,
the study of history. (May we never repeat it.)

In Spain, France and Italy,
kitchens are small
and not as well equipped
as those
in glossy magazines
but the ingredients are fresh,
the meals divine.
Cooking and eating
are sacred acts.

In rural Thailand
a family’s possessions
(almost) always include a television.
Beds,
however,
are optional.
Mats and sheets
appear at night
when needed.
The sofa is a wooden bench
outside the front door,
the breeziest spot.

In Valparaiso, Chile,
as the church clocks chime
midnight
on Christmas Eve,
children are allowed
to open a present.
Just one.
The sound of their joy
spills golden
out the open doors
and windows
onto the streets
where we are walking after a late dinner
at a Swedish restaurant
where the owner has had too much too drink
and finds me beautiful.

In much of Colombia and Mexico
walls and gates and wire
obscure the view.
The inner life of the home
remains invisible from the street.
Protected. Secret. Tucked away.
(They say fences make good neighbours.)

In North America
at night
when the curtains are not drawn
I can see the mesmerizing flicker
of televisions operating
in the darkness.

In Budapest
the warm red glow
of a restaurant at night
makes me feel hungry
for roast duck.

I love to look in windows
while travelling.
People show me who they are.

Tell us the stories of what you have seen while travelling.

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