2nd October 2015
02:43AM (Singapore Time) on the plane; to Paris
I don’t really know how to describe to myself this feeling; but this trip is the trip that will determine my near future, and that adds on to the nerves and pressure. But, I know I should go with the flow.
Met my host Nicolas Gegout at his door on Rue Emile Blemont, 18th arrondissement. Two of his guests were about to leave and we had tea together before they do. Nicolas then went to prepare my room.
We ended up talking about photography and he showed me his treasure of old photographs and memorabilia from his grandfather’s collection. They were extremely moving and to feel them in my hands was quite unforgettable. My favourite was the old work permit at a German factory during WWII.
Left the house to explore the neighbourhood. Walked down Rue du Poteau to the station, then followed on to Rue Hermel and from below the street, saw the looming Sacré-Cœur. Walked up and found myself on Rue Becquerel, which led to a flight of stairs. Walked up and found myself at the steps of the Basilica cathedral. Saw this young girl playing the violin – it was absolutely enchanting.
With my camera in hand, I struggled to photograph. I didn’t want to feel like trying too hard. It seems that just standing and looking does the places more justice…
4th October 2015
Just got home from a small informal opening party of a new yoga studio owned by Cedric, a friend of Nicolas.
(Before) We left the house at 20:00PM and took the bus to Moulin Rouge. Took some photos on the way to the venue. We were greeted warmly by Cedric. There were about 10 people in the studio and more arrived afterwards.
Initially, I felt really out of place. Everyone was speaking French – and then there was me. My first actual proper conversation was with Melina and Francisco, outside at the back of the building in a small courtyard, where a group of people were gathered around smoking. Melina was really patient and helped me with my (barely) conversational French. I learnt that she worked at a shop up-cycling products. I showed her my photographs. She invited me to drop by her shop the following Monday to see her. I looked forward to it!