Wandering in the Paris Suburbs
(or A Day in Rungis With No Smartphone, No Distractions)
A beautiful day outside, the sun is shining, so bright and warm… My friend and I are staying in the hotel in Rungis, a small commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France.
My friend is going to the office in the morning, and I am planning to go to Paris because I came to visit Paris and all the tourist attractions there, definitely not Rungis. But at the last moment, I changed my mind and decided to wait for my friend in Rungis just to visit the famous international market there. But everything went not according to the plan when I accidentally left my smartphone in the hotel room and closed the door. Since my friend had the keys and I didn’t know the exact address of the office where she had been working, I started feeling angry at myself but after few minutes I thought it was meant to be and decided to see what it’s like to be in a strange place with no smartphone, and thus no GPS, Internet, map, clock, ability to make calls…. But I had a camera with me, my true ‘friend’ through which I often explore the world.
Everything seemed so strange here…
Everything seemed so strange here… There were no crowds of people, in fact, there was hardly anyone walking there. I started panicking and getting nervous as I had no idea in what direction to go, and there was no one to ask for directions, so I had to give up on a plan of going to the market and just stay there, with no particular purpose, no tourist attractions and nothing at first glance interesting to see. And, finally, I found myself doing something I haven’t done in ages: simply wandering around and observing: the people, nature, the buildings… and I started spending the time with myself, the time on reflecting on the life of people, imagining what it’s like to live in the place…
Place of tranquility
Cars and motorbikes were passing by from time to time, only a few people walked there, not rushing, – most of them went to the bus station and were waiting for the bus to come. The place was surrounded by highways with lots of cars passing by, the sign “first-class hotel” was meant to attract the attention of passers-by to stop and stay here. For some people, it was a place of living while for others a short shop in the middle of the road… And for me, this place has become the place of tranquility, thinking, and appreciation of the simple things in life.
Simplicity deprived of all the pretense
It was the simplicity deprived of all the pretense, it was the life the way it was, – with some people doing daily activities like filling in the gas, waiting for the bus, walking… I am grateful for that day, as it was a unique opportunity to look more inside than outside, to find the appreciation for the simple things in life, for having the chance to observe the mundane things and find the unspoken beauty in them…