I include this journal entry from my time in Paris to show how much I’ve changed. At this time in my life literature and music and people were the atmosphere I wanted to breath. I was Euro-centric and I was culture-centric. Happily I no longer unconsciously tow the line that northern hemisphere cities are the centre of the world. Read on:
I look out the kitchen window of my friend’s shared apartement and through the early morning dusk what looks like a cloudless, if barely illuminated, sky is to be seen. Another subterranean muttering sends vibrations upwards, rattling the kitchen panes slightly, as the trains of the Metro go to work. I am in Paris.
Windows look out from the bedrooms on the courtyard below and have curliqued iron railings at their bottom. The floor is a wooden tiling, worn by many years of Parisian feet. We walked into the small kitchen in which I now sit and pulled out a half size bottle of champagne from the fridge. Clinkings ensued. Thinking about how much of a culture, people, city, jungle, world was beyond the walls around me. It is the babe-in-the-woods effect that I am familiar with from visiting New York City. One feels acutely how much complexity and density of life one is physically contiguous with. It is a feeling you just don’t get living in a house in an Australian suburb. It is the feeling that action and the unknown are happening and existing everywhere around one. Just around the corner. Just down the street. You are in Paris: Notre Dame, boulevards galore, Tour Effiel in profuse blue scintillations, interior of nearby Pantheon softly lambent with ultra-aquamarine.