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Paris, France – March 2010

Advertisers are sand salesmen who only work toward the advancement of the desert…

It’s not so much the words, but the spontaneous and almost insolent inspiration. I laugh out loud and point it out to my husband. Philosophical graffiti. Only in France. He lifts his shoulders in a languid shrug. It’s easy to take your own culture’s eccentricities for granted.

When we disembark, I watch until the words and then the metro disappear into the tunnel. I beam with joy as we stroll the quiet Sunday sidewalks. A light drizzle mists the air.  The noose of uniformity winds ever tighter around the planet, but the soul of Paris remains.


20 thoughts on “Your Ad Here

  1. Ah, Paris! I’m in the middle of reading David McCullough’s book – The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris. And I just downloaded John Baxter’s “The Most Beautiful Walk in the World – A Pedestrian in Paris. Both books are extraordinary. They come from different perspectives, but all agree that whoever travels to Paris experiences a personal renaissance. I love your last line – in fact it gave me goosebumps: “but the soul of Paris remains!”

    • The magic of Paris is still strong, but I think that those visitors who don’t speak French miss out on some important nuances, like this musing by an impromptu philosopher, which could easily be seen as just words scrawled on a wall, or the dry humor of a bistro waiter can come across as arrogant. I’m always happy when I see that cultural idiosyncracies remain. We don’t realize that the major cultures are also losing their distinctiveness.

      • I agree – cultural heritages are being lost at an alarming rate. That is why your blog is so important, essential to sharing these important moments. Thank you!!!

  2. Loved that photograph. Your last line resonates, ” The noose of uniformity winds ever tighter around the planet, but the soul of Paris remains…”

    Where do you see development and a “catch-up” mindset detracting from our historical legacy?


    • Thanks for stopping by, Shakti! As the world becomes more connected there are positives as well as negatives. I’ve seen cultures, especially in Eastern Europe, abandon their traditions with enthusiasm in exchange for mainstream, global culture. There’s so much imitation of American/UK entertainment, for example- the music, films, reality tv, etc. This has a huge impact on how people behave in daily life. I’ve noticed the positive aspects of traditional values being pushed aside for a more superficial worldview.

  3. whoever wrote that, I like him, I think is a he and talk too.
    Love how you ended this, Paris makes you feel nostalgic, that last photo is so Paris.

    • I’ve also tried to picture the individual who wrote it. It takes a special person to write such though-provoking words rather than obscenities, like we usually see on walls in public places.

      Paris is definitely a city of nostalgia. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Doris.

  4. It’s easy to take your own culture’s eccentricities for granted – this is so true… 🙂 I am sometimes like this, before when I wasn’t mindful of things. Funny story J.

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