Café Murakami:

by | Aug 16, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Walking is my IKIGAI just like you are. My purpose in life

“Good morning.”

Hello! Good morning!

“Excited?”

No, terrified.

“Why?”

Because I’m always like this until I’ve checked in.

“I see.”

How’s Jeddah?

“Hot.”

Hotter than Cairo?

“Yes. Would you like to share?”

Yes. 

***

Why do I love Paris so much? It’s the city of true love. Not infatuation or unrealistic goals, but the deep feeling that comes with unconditional love.

Every corner of the city is filled with it, from the dark depths of the nineteenth, to the over-indulgent second.

The minute you land at Charles Degaulle International, your pulse quickens. You’re no longer European so you queue with the rest of the world. The Mexicans, the Americans, the Indians, who have come ten times as far as your one hour and twenty minute hop.

From your home to your second home in eighty minutes. Ten minutes later and you’re through security, digging out your Navigo card which, for thirty euros, will give you a week’s freedom in the city of love.

Take the RER B from terminal two to Gare du Nord, the station that’s the gateway to Northern Europe. Flash your Navigo like a local and take the Ligne 4 to the sixth. Alight the melting pot of a carriage, with its fifty nationalities, onto the platform of Odeon.

Emerge from the gloom into bright sunlight, beautiful architecture and even more beautiful people. A partner is compulsory in this city of the other half. For once I’m blessed to have you with me.

I know now that I’ll never be alone again. We’ll visit Café Murakami and the Alien’s brain. We’ll frequent Peckish World, where we’ll gorge on Koshari. “Death by Koshari,” I call it and you laugh, just as you do at all of my jokes.

“Why do you like walking so much?” You ask.

Walking is my IKIGAI just like you are. My purpose in life.

“I don’t like to walk for no reason,” you reply.

No, that’s golf

“What?” You demand, laughing.

I’ll teach you how to walk and look.

“Teach me how to walk?” You’re exasperated.

Yes, you’re doing it wrong.

“Listen, I know how to walk and look!” 

You’re not doing it right, there’s a special technique. It’s in no way physical. It’s more like a stroll. Very slow, observing all of the surroundings. People, places, happenings. For example, now. Walking the length of the canal St Martin. There are many people from all walks of life, each with a story. You just have to understand them.

“Now I understand,” you say.

Of course you do. You’re a writer. Give me an example.

“What about the African man with the dreadlocks? He’s playing reggae on his Bluetooth speaker. Next to him is one empty and one half full bottle of rosé wine.”

Yes?

“Near him there are two beautiful women eating patisserie, but looking at the man out of the corner of their eyes. He smiles and winks at them.”

Well?

“They’re students at the Sorbonne. He’s a janitor in an apartment block in the nineteenth arrondissement.”

There you go then.

“You’re right. This is the most beautiful place on earth. It may not be Giza or Petra but it’s humanity, it’s alive!”

Welcome to Paris my Little Wish come true.

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