I remember the white and blue façade of the building opposite in the dark of the evening, approaching the window to get a better look then suddenly being dragged beyond the glass; there fragments of daily life fell at dinner time, strangers danced around the tables and from room to room gave me the chance of a glance with just the click of a light bulb switch, but it was enough for one of them to approach the shutters to bring the curtain down for good. I closed the door of my room behind me following a dim light and arrived downstairs, inside a large room where exotic scents penetrated my nostrils and an inflorescence resting on the counter seemed to have blossomed right there. Two women were moving and flicking their voluminous hair, at times looking like the same person, making the kitchen pulsate, emitting steam and mysterious aromas. I took my seat by the window when I was handed a large book from which vague words emerged, no description of the dishes just a whiff of the ingredients – I had no idea what I was going to eat but at that point it didn’t matter any more, the spell had had its effect, I was there and in a thousand other places. One evening would not have been enough to satiate me with that place and its atmosphere, it would not have been enough the next one or the one after that, if there had been one more evening.

I left Miss’Opo with the feeling that I had already been there and yet in my memory I could find no trace of it, I had to get on the plane, find my seat, wait for it to take off, then look out the window to know the answer; a scene in “Wings of Desire”, when the angel who has become a man descends into a club and attends the performance of a singer dressed in red, he is shrouded in darkness and framed by two chandeliers, he doesn’t want to talk about a girl, he wants to talk about a girl.

Rua dos Caldeireiros 100, Porto, Portugal, best to get there in the dark.

Words and photographs Federica Calzi.

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