STRANGER ON THE PIER
4th October, 2020
by Zophia Dadlez
In early March, just before the pandemic went into full swing in the States, I left on a trip to London, one I'd booked back in January before I'd ever heard the word "coronavirus". Naive about the situation and lucky with my timing, I managed to stay the full week as planned.
I spent most of my vacation walking and wandering, avoiding public transit when I could, and scrubbing my hands raw in gallery bathrooms. Traveling completely alone for the first time, I found myself bouncing between cafe and museum trips and fielding emails from my university about a full shutdown, calling home to try to coordinate a cross-country move-out, and reassuring my relatives that I'd make it back into America just before the border closed.
Towards the end of my trip I spent a day in Brighton, getting a tattoo then walking alone along the rocky beach with a dead phone battery. I ended up on the pier, quietly orbiting a young man photographing many of the same scenes I was drawn to. I can't recall who said hello first, but I remember that his name was Tam, he was Welsh and had been living in Sweden, and after some tense laughs about the current global uncertainty, he offered me his spare roll of expired fujifilm and we parted ways. Some of these photos I took alongside Tam, others on the roll he gave me.
Zophia Dadlez is a student and multi-purpose artist from St. Paul, MN, currently living in Rochester, NY. She loves colors, songs, and not having to choose between things. Her small adventures can be kept up with on her Instagram @zeldadz