Run the Risk

There's a risk already. A wide and broad city from end to end, boarded by a freeway.

The outer ring seems risky, wouldn't want to shout it to the rooftops but as uncommon as some feel from my own l home, the same is the challenge here.

Immediate judgements and wariness. Born from a safety and my own fears. A walk, only 3kms, with my prejudice jumping when it wanted to. It's only born from the other, not a genuine scare.

I love it already. I'm not meant to be here. The barrel of French I received indignantly as I tried to explain my way to a new pouch of tobacco shows a pride for their own place, their own culture.

Maybe they aren't rude. Maybe they just have such powerful pride, that if you can't keep up, you're not meant to be here. Or you should have done your homework.

We all want to be comfortable tourists. I don't think that's here. Maybe central where the money rolls from sight to sight, but not in this outer. This other. A place full of small supermarkets, stalls trying to get by and bad fruit and veg from the south.

I'll wear it. I'm a traveller nitpicking a world I don't understand. I barely speak the language.

So Merci France, stick me with the hard yards and make me realise yet again, I am only 1 of 6 billion.

Separated by particles as thin as the quick of a hair.


Justin Batchelor