Small discoveries

travelog.jpg

There is no
darkness
but
ignorance.

– William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

 

This statue is in Leicester Square in a public garden where you can also see statues of Joshua Reynolds, William Hogarth and a more recent addition, Charles Chaplin.
Somehow, I had never been inside that garden and yet, every time I went to London, I was around Leicester Square!

I took this photo in London during my London trip and shamelessly copied the layout from Meg at Mandarin Design. More London photos on my flickr London set. You’ll find the slideshow here and/or at One Photo a Day…

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5 thoughts on “Small discoveries

  1. dear stranger,

    about five years ago, i was in paris for a brief moment of my life. i was around 26 years old. never been in europe. and i traveled alone.

    i stayed at 18th arrondissement. somewhere between the noise of moulin rouge, and sacre coeur. i remember walking every small street that should have been one-ways. the pavements. the dirt. the brick or cobbled streets. the uphills and downhills and the steps. i walked in the small shops, especially one paper shop on rue abbeses.

    i did all this for several days, and one point i walked from montmartre to some famous opera house. by night time. i wanted to shop at small grocery stores that bore no attraction other than the fact that it gave me the feeling of being a local at such a foreign place. so there i was, a filipino, buying a guinness. and then passing by an asian restaurant near moulin rouge. then I’d go to my apartment with the smallest bathrooms, with a separate toilet- i was amazed and ambivalent of that notion.

    i remember at one point, one morning, opening the windows, shutter- the old french kind from the old apartments, i am looking out, and from the second floor, i was seeing a beautiful woman perhaps in her middle thirties passing by in cropped hair, slightly tight pants in subtle dark hues of navy blue with a rare look of girl-next-door, plus a touch of elegance.

    i wanted to whisper, ‘ bella’ but somehow i realized i said it a little too loud. a little too italian. she looked up. and she kept walking while she was looking up. i didnt know what to do, i had heard of parisians making young men lose their… innocence. but i looked away then looked back. and she smiled, she turned a corner and that was that. Felt like i had lived there long enough to say, such was my neighborhood.

    so i rode the bus there in paris, just hoping it would take me anywhere with markets and with the fewest tourists. by the end of my two weeks, i realized the two weeks was one of the most wonderful moments there. and i had not even seen any of the obvious tourist locations. but i could tell you which baker on rue lepic opened his boulangerie in precision, which café of the best cognac was best served to locals. and which tabac had the nicest man selling lottery. and which flea market had the cheapest old post cards.

    anyway, i wrote somewhere on a small piece of paper that i would travel again, if not reminisce. i lost that paper, but its still written in my mind, … so today, for some reason was the day. i planned today to do just that- reminisce. without traveling. someday i will. but in the mean time…

    if you would indulge a stranger, i would like some questions answered if you HAPPEN to know, ( and when you have the time and mood, of course).

    first question(s):
    – somewhere west, before climbing montmartre is a street called rue lepic. is it still a busy neighborhood? still a little dirty? east of moulin rouge, is it still , arguably, a little ‘seedy’?

    second:
    – there was a hamburger joint next to moulin rouge when i was there. is ‘quick’ still there?

    third:
    – i bought a bus pass where i had to put a small photo of myself, something like “carte orange.” it was good for a week. is it still orange?

    fourth:
    – what is the name of a well-known grocery store, there? there is one almost in front of moulin rouge, but more across the station called place blance? is it still there?

    fifth
    i remember eating, for some bizarre reason, some chinese food at a restaurant when you are walking up rue lepic (behind you is blanche station, with the nice ornamentaiton of its gate or arch), what is the name of that chinese restaurant, if it is still there? ( not that it was great )

    so many more questions, but that is all for now. thanks.

    lastly, last question:
    – ten years form now, i plan to ask these questions again. if i am unable to go back to paris in those ten years do you think you’ll be around to answer my questions, again?

    Ok, last question2:
    – do you happen to see a beautiful woman passing by in cropped hair, slightly tight pants in subtle dark hues of navy blue with a rare look of girl-next-door, plus a touch of elegance? and if you did, did you happen to see if she was looking around , as if searching for someone? just wondering.

    – the passerby

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