With these two pictures, I begin my narrative and analysis. Well, just my random thoughts using some personal experiences. Still doesn’t make sense right? Ok now back to the words or rather question.
Paris or paris? What’s the difference? Ah just the capital letter right?
That’s precisely the differentiation I want to make. You see, I was in Paris during the summer and the first picture was taken in the beautiful scenery of the Montmartre, one of those touristic attractions you sure want to visit.
During that same trip, I visited the Eiffel Tower again, eye-shopped the Champs Elysées (for that’s all I can do except for buying a hot dog maybe) and had dinner in some chic apartment in the 16th district and spent the night there too.
Wow, there, I got to taste Foie Gras, Choucroute, fromages, various wines and histories and eat with maybe 9 different cutlery and drank from 3 or so glasses. There was one for champagne, the other for wine (sometimes two if you will be having both red and white at some interval as the meal is served) and of course one for water.
The different courses of such meals need some real courses in the university for their grasp.
Yes, to me that was Paris. The city of love, the city of bling, the city of fashion.
It reminds me of how from the same letter P, you can have Presidents or prisoners.
Now, this weekend, I went to paris as you can see in the second picture. That is the notorious Marché-aux-puces, the kind like we have back home (really reminded me of one called Nkoulouloun), where stuffs are pushed around and displayed on the ground, where you can bargain all you want and buy a few items too at real give away prices.
Yet in that market like in all paris, you are conscious of your bag, holding it tight as I held mine, you take a picture far away and zoom it later because it you dare in the market itself, be thankful to still keep the camera thereafter.
In paris, I visited this time around with a cousin who lives in the ‘banlieue’. She is called Marie (just like me huh).
We grew up together and really get along so well.
We spent the afternoon and evening cooking because on the next day she had one of those ‘njangis’, (a sort of meeting where money is saved by the members and lots of food ate) which Africans and Cameroonians in particular know how to carter for.
We cooked and cooked and ate and drank and cooked again. I wondered if even the concept of ‘should in case’ (where you anticipate uninvited guests or that people will bring plastic bags for take aways), is known and entertained out here.
Later by 2 am, her husband said he was taking me out to the famous 18th district to show me some hot spots. I did not come anticipating such an outing but Marie quickly lent me some clothes and here is the end product:
The Périphérie du Nord is a famous Cameroonian ‘cabaret’ where music from the 60s’ and home food and drink flow in abundance… well as far as you can afford.
The Byblos night club in the ‘Cargo’ (for there is like a huge container full of people and there are four different dance halls and all) is also another attraction of paris.
Now, you have the narrative and even graphics, over to the analysis.
I earlier talked about Presidents or prisoners right?
I have had the pleasant opportunity in life to meet both categories of people.
I have met Ellen Johnson, Dlamini Zuma or even Portia Simpson Miller just to name those few. Yet, I strongly think the chances of my meeting them are better if I am in Paris than if I find myself in paris.
Back home, I worked in the prison and on the streets and made some real friends. I went there like I would go home and I even dated a ‘street kid’ known as ‘Nanga Mboko’ in our parlance. An extreme, right?
My random thoughts here is that, in life, we could be on either side of the same city. We could find ourselves on the left side of the road today and tomorrow we are on the right one.
I sincerely think that, if we work on flexibility and adaptability, our chances of making it in this life are greater.
I love both worlds. I have very fond memories of both Paris and paris and treasure my encounters with the Presidents as much as with the prisoners. It’s all a matter of choice and living up to those choices.
So, gentle followers of mine, what do you make of these random thoughts of mine?