Around Paris in 7 days: The Series
Day 6: The streets of life and some ranting.
If you’ve ever wondered what heaven sounded like, you should probably walk through the streets next to the Georges Pompidou Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris. I call it that because very sadly I’m not sure about the name of the street, but I’m sure you’ll know where it is when you start paying attention to what’s around you. You will hear a lot of people talking and walking on hard ground. Pay attention enough and you will hear a saxophone playing notes that ring a bell, a man with a rough voice singing as loud as he could, a woman in a long white dress dancing in the middle of everything to no music, the sound of balloons tightly rubbing against each other between the hands of a clown, and the sound of chalk being drawn on the floor by a man with a white beard. It all works so well together until you hear the metal bracelets and keychains clinking against each other in the background. Now it’s perfect. There was a man standing in the middle of the street waiting for the wind to blow large transparent bubbles in the air for the little girl to come burst with her index finger. People are sitting and lying on hard ground like it was the most comfortable grass, not complaining or doing anything to cause any trouble to anyone, they’re relaxed and young, quite full of art, ambition, and a little disobedience. They’re still filled to the neck with words and color and thought eager to shout them at the world and paint them on their walls. What triggered my interest the most was the fact that almost all the museums I went to were free of charge for people younger than 18 or 21. The city is pushing its youth to learn and explore different corners of art and history. This is what makes Paris a wonderful and powerful city, its youth is learning and is open to all this knowledge and by God, knowledge is power. They will be able to challenge themselves into being and reaching their better selves, and by that educating others along the way. This is when reality hits me with a cooking pan, because things are not exactly done the same way where I live at the moment: Lebanon. I hope I’m only generalizing, but our youth isn’t that open towards any of the colors I’ve seen in Paris. The museums are practically deserted from what I’ve concluded after my trip to the Museum of Beirut a few months back. You pay hardly no money if your kids are younger than sixteen, which, let’s face it, is not the way to promote Museum visits to the youngsters, who are supposed to be the leaders and heads of our future, they’ve certainly not started thinking about bettering the system from ages 0-16. There hardly is a youth left in Lebanon, and that is the worst scenario imaginable because we will gladly let history repeat itself instead of turing the page onto a new era of doing things. Either way we’re still not allowed to vote until we’re 21! I wonder why that is. Talents in Lebanon have longly been overshadowed by the lack of life in the county. How can people paint and create music and write whatever they felt to write when the simplest things are still not provided to the people, like water and electricity. Not to shame my own roots but the power is still out three hours every single day in Beirut, the capital. That gradually goes up to six hour power outages depending on the area in Lebanon. I remember these power cuts scaring the spark out of me when I was about four years old. Fourteen years later and my grandmother still tells me the schedule of the power cut for the following day. With all this clutter how do you expect people to stay and raise their children in a place that doesn’t even offer you light to see at night. The roads if broken are never fixed and lamps if out, are never to be replaced. How can I drive when it is not assured to me that my road will be lit up at night. We just don’t. We’re not willing to go out anymore in concern of our safety and we miss out on life and all its derives.
*Side note: how come almost all the people/some homeless/some needy on the streets and in the metros of Paris asking for money always showcase some kind of talent? They either play an instrument or paint or sing. They never just plainly ask you for money. I know they might not be homeless at all but very few were the people sitting around just asking for euros. The rest dance and make braids out of bracelets, YesSure maybe/probably it’s for the tourism of it all, but I have never ever a few more times so it sounds as accurate as I could put it, ever, seen a homeless/needy/person on the streets of Lebanon asking for money in exchange of showing any kind of talent or ability whatsoever. Please if you have, tell me.
With all the mess don’t expect singers to sing and musicians to put on a show. Lebanon plays its bitter ball everyday. But enough of that, my head will stop rambling because it has proven to be in vain. I sincerely hope I’m a big generalist who doesn’t know enough. All I say now is that I was simply jealous of how easy it was to access to knowledge spontaneously displayed on the streets of Paris and all the nothing I sometimes felt in the streets of my own home. I’ve learned more things about art and history and life in general in 7 days here than in years of Lebanon, not because I was tourist here don’t sass me. I was also a tourist in my county because my family too left for a better future outside our four walls, but I came back to Beirut the same way it left me, tired and filled with disappointing problems it will never be able to solve because they’ve been passed down generations of ignorance.
Closing my speech.
More pictures and less text to come.