Paris I


Paris day 1

It’s Friday and I’m on my way to Paris. The first thing I do is thinking about Yoko. I’ve been going everywhere with her. She will be staying with my brother, my cousin and their roommates. Leaving her behind, even for four days made my heart ache. I haven’t been apart from her since the day we took her in. But she seemed fine when we arrived there. My brother sends me videos of Yoko jumping on everything like a true adventurer and I am relieved she’s in good hands.

The train had a delay of 40 min and I didn’t feel ”in” Paris just yet. As soon as I got out of the station it kicked in. Even though Paris was enveloped in darkness. I felt a familiar rush of excitement. We went straight to the apartment that we had booked on Airbnb. It was small but just enough for us for a couple of days to sleep in.

Paris day 2

I’m walking through Paris with my camera around my neck. The air is chilly but slightly warmer than Amsterdam. We walk along the Boulevard. We didn’t have trouble deciding where to go. The Notre Dame has always been a fairytale dream since the release of the childhood movie. On the way we pass the Seine, the river looks dirty and The Notre Dame appears to be smaller than I imagined but once inside it turned out to be quite massive.

After coming out of the Notre Dame, we stop for breakfast and A finds this cute place to eat crêpes. I end up eating the most tastiest chocolate ice-cream. I still have to giggle of silliness. When slowly walk back from the day admiring Paris to the small apartment on Rue Cavé, I’m confronted with the fact of homeless refugees. It breaks my heart to see. To feel deeply has so many perks but when something sad happens I can be sadness itself.

Paris day 3

I’m soaring almost flying. I’m taking a run through the streets of Paris. The fresh morning was ready for me and I dive into the cold. I run on a bridge over old train tracks. I use my hand to touch the railing of the bridge. I spot a small sport area at the end. It has several sections on its left side. In the first section a small group of Chinese women dance to what seems to me, a traditional Chinese dance. Some women look up when I run next to their section. I have to smile how much joy I can read upon their faces. I can still hear some Chinese music on the background when I run past the second. The second section is completely empty and in the third, some teenage boys are playing basketball. I run away from the Park and realize that I don’t know Paris. I didn’t know where I am going and I am probably lost. In these situations I find myself pretty often. Lost. But I do not panic although it does itch a little in my stomach of concern. I run into the wrong direction, as an hopeless attempt. I find the main road of the Boulevard Barbès and I find maps that show me which way I should go. Since I have no sense of direction it will always be a guess to me. It won’t be long until I find the Rue Doudeauville. My mind says ‘look for Rue Lèon’ and before I know it I am home.

After we are bathed and clean. We are ready for the adventure of the day.
We climb up to the hill that takes you to the town of Montmartre . I feel uncomfortable and I get into an argue with A. The amount of tourists walking past me, annoy me. I walk away in great discomfort. After some time I go back. Luckily but by accident I find A pretty fast. He looks stressed out and I know it was childish to walk away. He promised me to take me to the flea market.

We’re agree to eat some food first. Food has never been very easy for me to find. As a ”gluten free vegetarian” it’s never easy. Whatever country you’re in. We find a place on the map but it’s not near. We take the long way to the flea market to pass the food-place. On the way to the flea market we’re passing street sellers. I’m fascinated by the chaos. What made them sell there? Who sells that stuff and how buys it? Even though I’m surrounded by people, I’m not annoyed like the Montmartre adventure. I’m just intrigued by what is happening in front of me.

The flea market feels really nice. I’m surrounded by very old French stuff and I wish I could just buy it all. Everything is still very expensive for a flea market so I end up with nothing. It was still amazing to watch. We take the metro back home and we enjoy the rest of the evening in peace.

Paris day 4

A takes a shower when I am buttering my bread for lunch. We’re going on our last adventure today. We’ve been walking so much the past few days that we have no problem taking the metro. He takes me to this boutique and surprises me with parfum. It’s the sweetest French parfum called Miss Dior ‘ blooming bouquet’. I’ve never been a fan of extreme parfums (to the point where you suffocate everyone around you), so my parfum has just a light scent of jasmine.

This is the day I didn’t photograph. Not because I didn’t want to and it’s a pity I couldn’t but after the boutique we went to the cemetery. Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Where all the famous people are buried, people like Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. Where it’s best not to photograph out of respect. This cemetery was probably the most beautiful graveyard I’ve ever seen. We also picked the right day because the light fell perfectly on the graves and it had this serene sense of feeling. It was quite peaceful. It was big and it sometimes felt like being in a maze. Without a map you would almost lose your way.

After the graveyard I felt some discomfort around my shoulders and before I knew it an aching headache strikes me. We take the metro back and walk to do some last-day-shopping. Ash bought a bunch of formal suits. When we’re back again we prepare for our departure and watch some French Netflix.

The next morning before dawn we hurried to Gare du Nord and take the train back to Amsterdam.

Images of my trip to Paris will come soon.

Posted on: April 8, 2016

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  • Paris II | Free Spirited Souls
    April, 2016

    […] See the story of Paris […]

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Roses are not red


I’m at the Spui market, roaming around. Tracing old books with my fingers. I’ve always enjoyed the smell of books. Pictures of people I don’t know, are for sale, three euros. A photographer setting up with his camera, is chatting meanwhile with a girl next to him. His lens cap falls and I flinch. Big laminated posters of parts of the world, or the world itself in big boxes stored up, ready to be sold.

I quickly walk on and dive into a bookshop. I smoothly take the stairs up to the photography section. I talk to myself and I am amazed by the beauty of the images in books. The sketches of a famous fashion designer is for sale and I’m amazed again, that it’s so expensive. My sketches are worth nothing but I must admit he is a better drawer.
I browse through some books and walk out of the shop again. I continue my walk of fresh air by mindlessly passing people I don’t know.

I am the theater, looking at the performance of Wynn Heliczer. I need to giggle at the start. I haven’t been to a theater for a long time. I don’t really know what to expect. Is it true that all artist pour their soul and being into their work to make it a succes? Cause it’s more than just a passion. I should know. She talks and sings about her father. The artist that was present in the world of art but missing in her life. I recognize a lot of aspects and her humor got me crying of laughter. It touches deep parts but all I can think about is what a beautiful woman she is and I’d be privileged to photograph her. Unfortunately that’s probably a clouded dream.

I’m waiting in front of my favorite soup store for Marissa. A couple is looking through the winter eating their soup in silence. I didn’t look long enough to see what they are doing but I feel them stare at this strange girl in black waiting and checking her phone (me). And I feel strange.
I can see Marissa from far in her long dress and her cute coat with a matte neon-yellow scarf. I hug her and we enter the soup-store. The soup doesn’t fall good this time and we walk for small distance to the Bagels&Beans. We try to talk because talking with her feels nice but we’re annoyed by the overpowering presence in the cafe. We eat until our tummies are entirely fool. We overate and decide to talk a walk through the city. We roam around trying to avoid the mass.

We find a playground with swings and we will swing. We talk and swing and I swing high until my legs feel sore. I’m with my head and foot high in the sky and my thoughts wander off. I love how I can be with Marissa. My thoughts can wander off without apologizing. She knows me and it feels good to be able to myself around some one. My thoughts are relaxed when I’m with her.  I’m proud of the woman she became. She’s the only one left in my life that I probably can’t live without. So much she knows about me. The flaws I see in myself, and she sees through them. High school feels like ages away. The friends I had at school were never all so permanent. She remained like a soul entwined with mine and yet individually rocking awesomely through life. I don’t like to use the word ‘being one with some one’ cause you can’t be half of yourself. She’s is yet her own person and an extension of my existence. But I’m digressing.

I hide my face in my hair. The room is dark and I’m leaning against the heater with my back. Some spotify music is on and I curl up as a ball. I let my head fall backwards and take a deep breath before I return to earth.
The only lights that are present are those from outside, the civil twilight zone, where the sun is already down but still casting some light on this planet, slowly fading away until the streetlights take over. I lit a few candles. The light from my laptop is shining on my face when I’m writing.

I’m writing about my psychologist, I mean not about him but about me seeing him. For most of my life I’ve heard about anxiety but never felt addressed to the meaning of the word. Of course I was scared of a lot of things and had panic attacks (which I didn’t even call panic attacks at the time). I thought everybody had fears and panic to the same extent as I did (maybe not all the same but similar). I couldn’t be much different than the rest, or was I? Only that I have come to this age that I am confronted with all these anxiety, like I didn’t have enough endure. Or did I always manage to find a way to mislead the mirror of confrontation. I didn’t want to come out earlier with this because for a long time I didn’t want to see that anxiety was a part of me. Till this day I still find it hard to embrace that part of me that is so scared of things I can’t explain.
I haven’t had many sessions. But I’m sure that it will help me on a longer therm.

I remember the second session where I walked out of the building and I just had to cry all the way home. I was so incredibly scared of the path that I was going to walk during those sessions, to be completely and more vulnerable that I have ever felt. You go there, open some veins and you let some one analyze you. For years I refused to ever meet a stranger and tell him every thing I am convinced I know about myself. But am I not doing that with others? Although the start is hard to bite through, seeing some one was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Really. Yes, being analyzed when you are vulnerable, is scary but honestly if you look at it, he or she’s just repeating what you refuse to hear, but what you deep down already know. Or it can make you more aware of possibilities that you didn’t see before.

I’m aware that there’s a certain stigma about seeing some one. Seeing some one means you must be really crazy, right? I can’t tell if this is really true or really narrow-minded. I’m convinced that sometimes you have to be patient with yourself, give it the treatment it deserves. Going to a psychologist maybe doesn’t gain at all but what doesn’t gain, can’t hurt.

Posted on: March 14, 2016

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  • Bruce Barone
    March, 2016

    Beautiful. Be kind and patient with your self. You are a great writer.

  • Jess
    March, 2016

    so beautiful and touching Marleen. x

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