It’s been quite sometime since I posted here. It is not that I haven’t been writing. However, I have not been getting time enough to post them. But recently when I came across a google result where my blog has been shown as one of the best blogs on travel, I decided to post here more consistently from hereon.
I will post all my stories, travel or otherwise, here soon. But here is one I want to post immediately. It is one of the most fascinating experiences of my traveling life. Some of you must be aware that I have become an internationally recognised Yoga and Meditation teacher. I am also registered with Yoga Alliance USA. During my yoga training, I met many like-minded people. They all made me think how there are people all over the world who are like me. Same thought process, likes, dislikes, philosophies and principles. It was a deeply comforting and encouraging feeling. There I literally experienced the saying, “Your vibe attracts your tribe”.
During those days, many of us became friends. We know that we will always stand for and with each other regardless of time and space. After five months of completing yoga training, a couple of us decided to reunite for a few days. The meet up was to take place in our friend’s place in Barcelona. I was to join from Singapore while another was to join from Paris. This was my seventh visit to Paris. The city never fails to inspire me. As always, I booked my tickets in such a way that I get at least two to three days there. Learning that I was stopping by in Paris, my friend from Paris invited me to stay with her. She insisted and I happily agreed.
Soon, I landed in Paris. Sparing you all the details, I took a train to my friend’s place, from the Charles de Gaulle airport. I reached her station after a 20 minutes train ride. It was a new experience for me to stay at someone’s house, as I always stayed in a hotel on every other occasion. She was waiting for me there at the station. Seeing her, I was super thrilled and we hugged as if we are meeting after years. She took me to her car that was parked by the roadside. We went in and reached her home in not more than 10 minutes.
My friend (let us call her Julie) has two adorable dogs. Both are rescue dogs. I am a dog person. I heard them barking from inside the house and I knew we were going to have fun. I must say here that, Julie has two truly well-behaved dogs. She introduced me to them and them to me. Sensing that I am a friend, they both started jumping over me frantically wagging their tails. We all slowly settled into our spaces and rested a bit.
Soon it was time for the dogs to go for a walk. I wanted to go with them too. As we left home, I noticed Julie did not lock the door. I asked, “Are we going nearby?” She said that we were just going to go to a block nearby. If so, I wondered why she wasn’t locking her door? She said, “It’s fine, nothing will happen”.
It turned out that Julie was right. We went, came back and yes, our things were safe.
Next day, I wanted to have a proper French breakfast with yummy authentic bakery goodies. Julie said she can take me to the best bakery there and we could get something to eat at home with tea and coffee. I agreed. Off we went again, without locking anything, neither the door nor the gate. The dogs stayed at home, playing with their toys.
That day, Julie had to work, so I went out alone. I had enrolled in a writing workshop that day. It was a tour of the Parisian Writers’ houses followed by writing exercises on extempore topics. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now do you know why I love Paris so much?
Next day, it was Julie’s holiday. We were to go to Paris and meet-up a few of her friends. She wanted to introduce her Indian friend to them. While we were getting out of the house, she was walking straight to the car. I couldn’t stop myself from asking if she intended to lock the door and gate. She said no. I insisted, as we were to go out to the city of Paris and we both knew we will return really late. She laughed at my insistence and said nothing would happen. But me being an Indian, I insisted she lock it. So, she did, even though she felt it was not necessary. To my surprise, after locking the door, she threw the keys on the grass of her front yard. I freaked out. Why on earth (unintended pun)? She said it’s fine. Not convinced, I hid the keys behind a thick patch of grass myself and went out. In the car, upon getting in, she casually said, “Oh! It seems I forgot to lock my car last night.” I couldn’t believe my ears. She parks the car on the road in front of her house! Good heavens!
In the car, we talked and laughed and drove to meet her friends. On the way, I couldn’t stop thinking how different our lives are. In Paris, in her neighbourhood, locking the door is not regarded as a must-do. There is no thief to take anything from her house or to even curiously enter her house, whereas, in India, when I put up a flex banner for people in the locality to know that we were organising a summer camp, that banner got stolen even before the summer camp started. An iron framed sign board that was hanging on the wall of my school (I have a preschool in India) got stolen. I got to learn that it was stolen for the iron frame it had. What a contrasting world we live in!