We woke up to tremendous thunder, to buckets of rain coming down outside our room. Lucky for us we had covered the bikes with our bike covers before we went to sleep. Do we get dressed and ride in this weather? The sky is gray, the town deserted outside. It is early, 6 AM. Breakfast is not being served until 9 AM, we paid for it already. Everything is soaking wet outside. It would be a good time and a good way to leave; we could even fire up the motors and ride out of this Forbidden City since I believe no policeman would be walking his beat in this kind of downpour. Not even a dog is stupid enough to walk through a miserable, cold shower like this.
I did what I very seldom do, I did nothing. It is now 10.30 AM and I am sitting in the bar downstairs writing these words. I had my omelet, a cup of strong coffee and all is updated on my blog journal. All I need is an internet connection, but with weather like this the satellite uplink will not work. Carol solved 2 difficult Sudoku puzzles already. There is just nothing to do but read and wait. The rain is letting up; it still rains, but not as heavily as earlier. We walk from shop to shop around the town. I get to know the town dog that lives by himself in town without ownership. Somehow he survives. I get to see how the town of Kotor moves without any tourists. The rain surly keeps the visitors away. The real pace of Kotor is very slow. The local people talk to each other, say hello, shake hands, give each other a kiss on each cheek and just talk. It sure is small town living. Women sit under a large umbrella, smoking their cigarettes, talking. We are the outsiders, the visitors with the money. They are the owners of this place.
Carol and I walk all over town in the afternoon. By now the rain has stopped but it is too late to start riding. We will wait until tomorrow. We discover little visited sections of town;
see an old hospital built by the Venetians and a fish market. We see dilapidated buildings, too. We hear the bells of all the churches in town toll. We hear the practice session of the local orchestra, trying to play a Bolero. It sounds terrible. We see things with a visitor’s eye yet we try to be as local as possible. Carols sends some postcards to her loved ones. I just sit and take in this village life; the good of it and the ugly, too.
I know life is the daily in and out for most people; daily routine, daily chores, daily responsibilities. I am very lucky, I am blessed, I can just visit and then leave. The people here have to stay every day, face the tourists every day. Their very existence depends on visitors. Kotor is a tourist spot; not extremely attractive, but good enough for a one day stop over. Cruise ships are the main source of income for all. The lack of parking spaces makes visits by car cumbersome if not impossible.
We will leave Kotor tomorrow, rain or shine, yet I also had a great time doing nothing but watch.