Saturday, July 13, 2013

A Window to Lille, France.

Written By: Smile Khan (France)

Paris- Cogress Palace

To start it was a rainy day. I had to wake up earlier than usual and was still 50% dozing when a train desposits me at Paris Musée d'Orsay. I had to make a little bit more effort going to 70% awakeness to find a bus stop I never used in past. The bus crosses The Seine, moves to Place de la Concorde, a pessenger can easily see Eiffel Tower from afar. We met the Obelisk of Luxor, and we walked down l'Avenue des Champs Elysées to eventually overtake the Ark de triomphe where rests an unknown soldier. My bus drops me off at the Palace of Congress, Porte Maillot. First Step toward my destination.
Lille train station
I thought for a moment I was going to miss my appointement at 12:00 for carpooling from Paris to Lille because of untimely delays of RER. But I have 1/2 hour to explore the area. Palace's structure defies a little bit the law of gravity and I wonder how to offset all the forces. A dog  approches to smell the mangoes I tranport in my bag, I take a step back because I do not appreciate that much dogs. Its owner, a homeless man, may be offensed by my attitude toward its beast, jostles me with all his strength and passes by as nothing happened. The carpooler is giving no vital signs, I don't know where I am gonna stay tonight beacuse "housing responsible" is not answering my calls. It is bad start of my day.

A peice of Green Metro ticket
Yet the Carpooler arrives. After phases of drizzle, rain in continues strings and then a rain "by buckets", We discover a clear blue sky at Lille. My first contact at Lille is that gentle man who let me use washrooms with only few red coins I had, well unsufficiant comparing to mentioned amount. Then the young man who helps me getting a couple of green metro tickets frome a distributor which refuses my ten euros notes and accepts coins, which I am already out of stock.  
Vieille Bourse
Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Lille

Colonne de la Déesse
My first scock is too narrow metros, and too short with seats of diluted blue highlighter color. I arrive at R. I am affamished and sleepy but decides to explore the city. I search for the museum in front of the School. My first contact at R. Is that red dressed woman who dealt me rudely even if i paid a full ticket to access to the Museum. I went angrier for absence of indication for the use of lockers. And the content of th emuseum ends up disgusting me completely. A majority of statues and paintings having for object  nude women. Sometimes I face a real difficulty to accepet Art when it limits itself to pornography. However I try to take intrest but give up finally. I sit down on a bench in front of the School waiting for my next appointment time with a Welcoming party for candidates. I try to read my book, I try to revise and watch parents who came out with their children to strech their legs. And I tan under the sun beating down hard at this time.  I still cannot join "housing responsible", and i wonder if I have to seek anoher alternative or not.

Eglise Saint Maurice
Finally, slowly, the clock ticked and we all candidates and Schools current students garther around the specialties we were asked to bring representing our regions. Most of applicants came from Paris or Dijon. It is divided into small groups to be accommodated at  students's place. I am pleased to introduce them to the Pakistani mangoes. 100% succes! After a pizza party, we go to bed. Waiting the D-Day.

Le Grand Jour arrive. Le petit déjeuner, la présentation, les épreuves, la visite, le déjeuner s'enchaînent.Si bien qu'à 14h00, les candidats sont de nouveau libres. A moi le métro, A moi Lille. 

Last night, our landlady was kind enough to brief us on the sites we could quickly visit. The Lille Opera, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the column of the Goddess, the St. Maurice Church, La Grand-Garde Northern Theater , the old stock exchange building The Voice of the North ... I meet same kind of crowd as iam used to see at the steps of George Pompidou. Many people are exposing their talents and trying earn few coins. When to get my  coach I recrossed the streets, I met a homeless in front of store TATI on his carton, he has the same sadness in his eyes as a Paris SDF ( homeless person). I meet a gentleman sitting under a tree playing the trumpet with an open trunk at his feet.

La Grand Garde - Théâtre du Nord
Whatever the big city we visit or we live it will eventually give us its rhythm, movement, it will eventually give us its music. Although initially people from elsewhere are clumsy in their approach, the common rythme eventually succeeds to synchronize their steps to others. I finally found my coach. My humdrum. My life. With even more thirst for to leave a new.  A backpack on the shoulder and my head in the Wind.

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