Sunday, November 16, 2008

Carnival Ride, Gouda

Arriving in Gouda on a sunny morning, we anticipated a day spent sampling cheese, seeing the stained glass windows in St.Janskerk, and searching for Gouda pottery. As we approached the market square, we discovered that carnival rides in garish shades of hot pink and florescent green filled the space. The cobblestones and ancient buildings were obscured by popcorn stands and a carousel. Modern life had intruded upon our vision of Gouda. How often do we have a pre-conceived vision of how something or somewhere is supposed to look? It's hard to give that up. I still regret trying so hard to NOT photograph the ubiquitous orange building cranes that marked the skyline of every town in Umbria. Nor did I have the sense to shoot the flexible scaffolding that covered the Washington Monument while it was being rejuvenated. This time, we laughed at the children going round and round or up and down, and marveled at the wondrous juxtaposition of the 15th century City Hall and the whirling arms of the Spider.