I met a gentleman and his friend, both who worked in this church tonight. I setup my camera and was waiting for that MWAH, that good good, that golden-purple perfection of light when they approached me.
Now, southern Italian hospitality is legendarily cringe throughout Italy: it has a reputation for being obnoxious and too close, too fast.
Generally, I don't understand what's happening, so I'm outside the obnoxiousness. Maybe I would've gotten annoyed in other situations: I am far from above being bothered by kindness.
But not this time.
These two approached me and the older gentleman stood directly in front of my camera, cap off, ready to go camera, obvious to a photographer and probably most of you: I was ready to shoot. This guy, naw, started asking me questions, wondering where I was from, where I live, what am I doing, what is this thing on my camera, is it cold in New York still, very friendly. Very very friendly. xD
That good light hits and part of me wanted to start internally screaming, but it was alright for, I think, the first time in my life. I had gone through detours, a police blockade (not sure why), an uphill hike, and a few other problems to get to where I was.
Normally, I'd be annoyed, but too polite to say something.
This time, I noticed, but didn't mind.
I didn't understand everything that was said: he spoke German, Italian, and very poor English. I speak English, okay German, and very poor Italian. :D
I'm still kicking it around, and I am probably the most antisocial person occupying Italy right meow, but maybe the journey is more about those windows of opportunities to pour your attention into the people around you. I'm an American: everything is a mission and I've gotta go go go go go!
But to take my time, fumble through a conversation, and wind up knowing more about a person... that feels worth more than any photo I've taken.