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.

4 comments:

tamasha said...

When I was living in Italy, I wouldn't have even thought about using my iPod on the street. There was too much around that I wanted to be a part of, that I was a part of. But here, sometimes I want a break from that. It must be nice to not want the break.

J said...

I'm so glad you're back. This is like vicarious vacation through the Interwebs. I'm going to turn the vicarious vacation into an actual one during Spring Break, so make room for me on your *French word for couch*.
-janani

Maitri said...

Same in New Orleans. I've never walked around with headphones on, even in the safest of neighborhoods, because the symphony of sounds is much more interesting than something I can always listen to later.

Although, I have to say that I once listened to a Sasha record while walking through the rain here and it was quite the interesting visceral experience in itself. A soundtrack to my walk through the Garden District, you could say.

karrvakarela said...

It's a pleasure to read something so well-written. Thank you.