Crowds of people flooded the expanse, walking towards the sea, the shopping centers to the left and the food street. There was the sparkling, crystal blue, shimmering sea ahead, narrowly separated from the crowd through a brown mahogany fence. Occasionally, the water would creep forward, sweeping the feet of its admirers in gratitude, resulting in shrieks of laughter and excitement from the children. Raising my wrist towards me, I read the dreaded time on the watch; 5:30 PM. Hurriedly, I continued to walk parallel to the sea, towards the food street. My stomach churned at the mouthwatering smell of salads, popcorn, juices, potatoes. In addition to the calming sound of water gently rubbing against the fence, the delightful warm music, I heard the sizzling of vegetables as the chefs tossed their pans in quick, impressive movements.
I joined the crowd gathered in front of the chef, intently watching the quick dicing and cutting of vegetables. Delighted at the prospect of a warm snack, before I embarked for the library to study, I grabbed a dollar bill from my pocket and passed it to the chef, who handed me a plate of warm fries in return. Feeling the weight of books on my back, I walked hurriedly towards from where I had entered. With a backward glance, I bid my adieus, leaving the music and merriment behind me.
The port library was a few minutes walking distance away. I paced forward, hurrying on the stone steps leading towards the library. The library soon emerged, sheltered by the trees and with an air of tranquility around it. Within seconds, I had reached the cold, glass door of the library and swung it open.
Instantaneously, the world seemed quiet and still. I glanced at the dozens of bookshelves ahead of me, to my left and to my right. I noticed students were browsing the shelves, just as I was to do. I noticed people on their laptops, furiously typing away, their faces tense. I felt my feet sink in the soft brown fur of the carpet as I unloaded my bag and walked towards the bookshelves. I felt their cool, hard touch and the smooth, crisp paper of the books. My eyes scoured the bookshelves, from science to history, and at last I found the book I desired. I pulled it out, hearing the crackling of paper. As I walked back to the soft, inviting sofas, I realized how I had visited two places today, each as different as black is to white.