Monday, 23 February 2015

‘Je suis gallois’

We all have our bucket lists. Mine seems like it is continuously growing, thriving off new visionary spaces, combined with the conviction of retreating to a world of adventure and experiencing different cultures along the way. The last few years I have seen myself collecting valuable experiences and being fortunate enough to encounter just some of these places that were once on my ‘bucket list’; with memories to last a lifetime (as cliché as that may sound).  But through the conversations I have had with the locals alike, one thing that I have discovered is that not every individual shares the same thought process and elation that I have found myself immersed within. Taken back by the different lifestyles that people I would come across on my travels would lead, and how they would go about their daily tasks, the phrase “each to their own” never seemed to be so true!

My most recent of trips was to the City of Paris. Instantly immersed in the Parisian culture, a sense of blissfulness was ever present.  Aware that the French are perpetually dubbed for their rudeness, the expression ‘Je suis gallois’ mixed with laughter soon lifted the mood.  An internationally diverse city, with works of art scattered across the streets in graffiti like manner would seem to follow you around. It came as no surprise to find never-ending amount of galleries, offering work from some of the most inspiring artists. And Art seemed to follow through into Parisian’s fashion, which offered a subdued take on the visuals, which would greet you once inside those galleries.   

Trying to fit in an entire list of ‘to-do’ whilst on a tight timescale did prove a little difficult, and it wasn’t until my very last night in the city, did it really hit me just how beautiful the city is.  Sat at the window of my hotel room, looking out unto the urban landscape that surrounded, I was found myself in ore of the individuals that could call Paris home.  Although they were probably used to tourists alike flocking the city, they still would greet you with a smile and even the odd hello every now and then. Immersed within their own culture, they still seemed intrigued by others, even the unofficial venders that would try and sell you merchandise at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, to the happy go lucky young gentlemen who would perform for money on the Metro.  Asking questions, trying to figure out where Wales was, even at one point arguing that the place I call home doesn’t exist, it all made me realise that all this was just a snapshot of life within another culture for both myself and those asking the questions. We find ourselves so wrapped up in our culture that its not until you find yourself living within someone else’s that you really appreciate what you have.

Words By Danielle Baskerville

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