Monday, August 6, 2007

Put Your Headphones On

Call it wonder, call it disbelief, call it naivete: I have yet to reach into my privileged pocket and pop in my iPod bugs. Whether I am walking or traversing the underground via Metro, I am almost always fascinated by the people and happenings around me. Paris is a city of numerous cultures, nationalities, and languages (though French is indeed a prerequisite for getting by), and my statements here are nothing new. Rather, what is rather unusual, even after nearly two months of expatriated circumstance, is my eerie fascination with the scenes around me: the mother with her Maclaren stroller, struggling through the non-handicapped accessible underground; the buskers with their assorted assemblage of beatboxes, spewing some sort of new Creole crossed with Arabic for a bit of change; the diligent ladies who lunch with heels, purse, and matching jewelry; the college students backpacking across Europe and through its premier station at Gare du Nord; the businessmen in close-cut suits running to and from stations en route to work at La Defense or in the suburban sprawl; and the random lovers who will always be oblivious to the world as they hold hands and gaze at one another during rush hour. I haven't expounded fully on the descriptives in this brief, yet there you have it: my growing fondness for a city of serpentine streets, alleys, walkways, and buzzing trains sliding back and forth.