Ever listened in on a phone call ( never!) but you were only able to hear one half of the conversation? As you listen, you think you know what the conversation is about…but knowing what the other person is saying might change everything.
I've been thinking about some things I've seen recently in France, so here goes.
A man is yelling. It's getting ugly and people are starting to shift uneasily in the queue. A man is yelling his head off a SNCF staffer cos they're having problems processing his unreasonable train trip request. 'Je m'en foouu!' he cries, and goes away furiously, vowing to give them bad rap.
There's a mother and her kids on a metro. It's hard to focus. The older daughter, overweight, is licking a toffee apple while the younger is upset for some reason. It's not pretty. The mother lashes out with a rapid-fire barrage of harsh words and there's silence for a moment. The silence before a storm. There may be silence, but that doesn't mean there's peace.
I'm waiting at the bustop. It's about 10:30pm. A bus drives up and passengers trickle out. Just then, I fear for my life. Yes. Just then, a car zooms pass, circling the roundabout. A man is leaning out of his window, in the dark of night. Firing a gun. I was just reading my notes for an exam tomorrow, standing out in the open. In retrospect, the guy was probably firing a paintball gun, just having a bit of fun damaging the bus in front of me. It's one of those moments I probably won't forget.
I'm wandering about Paris, lost. I ask one person for directions, starting to go in one direction, before realising I'm now even more lost. I walk inside a memorabilia/DVD rentals store and buy some Tintin postcards hehe. I then decide to ask one more time for directions. A French guy pulls out his smartphone and goes onto Google maps and helps me out. Thanks stranger Parisian guy. Helpful parisians. There's more out there than you might think...