General

In the plaza the pigeons outnumber the red paving slabs. Just to walk from the tall terraced houses around the edges with their stores at ground level I must take small steps to avoid kicking them. These birds have no fear of me, I'm more scared they'll foul up the Italian leather shoes I bought only last week at Darcy's. A few minutes later my efforts are rewarded by being able to sit on the edge of the octagonal pool that surrounds the fountain, water spraying many feet into the dry summer air from the lips of a busty mermaid. The droplets arc high before cascading down at the will of gravity. I dig in my satchel for the baguette I plan to eat for lunch and the mass of grey feathers before me gets so dense you can't see the stone underneath. Between the splashing behind and the squawking in front the sound of the city traffic disappears, and that is why I walk here to eat. Here I can admire the brightly painted old buildings and imagine I am back in my home town. Just for a moment.