A Chunk of Metal: Part I

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Leave your country in search of loftiness
And travel! For in travel there are five benefits,
Relief of adversity and earning of livelihood
And knowledge and etiquettes and noble companionship
[Imam Shafiie]

I've had the chance to travel a bit right after we finished our final exams, after receiving our results, Alhamdulillah. I wanted to go to Paris. So i half-begged half-manipulated my musketeers (anak-anak Zainol) to accompany me there. For they have been there a few times before with other friends. I've been there once too, back in my first year, but at that time i wanted to fulfil my childhood princess dreams that i only spent my days in the Disneyland.
But anyway, we planned a quick and short and cheapest trip as possible. And Epah, another batch-mate of ours wanted to tag along too. My aim was pretty simple, i wanted to spend my days travelling with my bestfriends, for the last time. And another is to see that Eiffel tower for myself. To figure out what it's all about really.
And we did a 2-day handbagging vacation, cause each of us brought sufficient amount of stuff to put into our handbags. It was great I'd say, and the weather was very helpful for beautiful pictures alhamdulillah. We even went to the same places within the 2 days, cause apparently, Paris is not all that big. Ok, i think it's enough of the trip's introduction for now.
So on the last day there, right before we headed to the bus stop that will bring us to the airport, we decided to kill time sitting at the garden (i don't really know the name of that place, but i'm sure it does have one) across the Eiffel Tower. The weather was beautiful so we joined the mat salehs, sitting around enjoying the cool breeze and watching so many different kinds of people -tourists from everywhere- walking past by.
"In the end, people from all over came to see a huge chunk of metal." 
Ika suddenly blurted out.

and we laughed together realizing how true it is. It really is an overrated huge chunk of metal. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place to visit, but i think coming here with the right mindset is very important. We had a somewhat deep conversation together under the shades while trying to avoid the harsh sunlight. I was thankful, that i came together with my friends. Aaand with a tight budget. So we did what all travellers do; We eat cheap food, stayed at cheap hotels, took the cheapest transport possible and all the other cheap stuff -though perhaps not the Laduree macaroons. That, was also totally overrated. I didn't even know such a name exist till the day we actually ate them. Heh. Quoting a friend of mine - "lepat pisang lagi best" hehe.
I guess we all can agree now that we have been spoon-fed with all the glamours and glitz that people talked about whenever Paris is mentioned. And perhaps too much of those, got into our heads, and into our actions. Cause during our trip, we actually met a bunch of Malaysians; most if not all, would often avoid our gaze, and some even made me wonder if i actually had the Invisibility Cloak on or something. Perhaps giving Salaam somehow hurt them? Or smiling back is quite a difficult facial expression for them? Or was it our shabby looks, that didn't fit the description of "Paghi: the city for fashionistas only". *sigh* wallahua'lam. 
And while we were travelling, Ika mentioned about how some Malaysian blogs showed the type of stuff they do when they come to Paris. Things like getting chauffeurs around, going shopping for Prada and Gucci and whatnot,  together with pictures of them stepping out of vintage-looking cars just outside of Eiffel Tower, with clothes straight out of the latest fashion magazines. And let's not even mention the bright red lipstick. Heh. When we went back to Dublin, i looked into the so-called blogs and really did found myself dumb-founded by the 'reality' that these blogs bring. Well perhaps for those with money, maybe they are the stuff that comes to mind when we mention Paris. But for mere human beings like us, trust me, it's just a normal travelling experience. And don't worry, not everyone looks like a model when they come here. :)
My point to this all, is that sometimes we get too caught up with these overrated stuff that we read off the internet or magazines or from movies that we watched, that we all drown ourselves in our fantasies, and forget what travelling essentially is. And Paris is sadly one of those places that succumbed to these dreamy ideas. So when we go there, sometimes i think we held our heads up too high, acting all posh, dismissing everyone who seems 'less' than us. 
City of love? 
I'd say it really is a a city full of people thinking they are in love. 
Fashion trend-setters? 
I'd rather wear jackets in the cold breeze rather than attempting to brave it just to look cool in the cameras. 
Acting posh? 
I'd opt for a little smile just to acknowledge one another. *sigh*

So i guess that is why i was totally grateful for travelling there together with my friends just like the way we did- the college student style. no glamour. And definitely no glitz. We did exactly what travelers do wherever they go; experience the place, the people, the food, and take back home some lessons learnt for life. There's more to travelling than just the pictures that we took. Look around us; the scenes, the people we encountered, fellow travelers like us, the histories of the places that we visit, and the list goes on. but inevitably our generation is somehow slowly fading away into the lands of selfies and instagrams, just like what the social media taught us to. Yes, pictures are great for the memories. But won't it be too much of a waste if that's all that we gained from our travels? 
For all the money that we saved and spent to go there, 
and yet we gained so little spiritually. 
Something worth pondering upon isn't it?


Ps: this post really does kick me back in the gut. A huge self-reminder for someone who took lots of pictures there. Haish.. *peluh kecil* And here's one of our own at the garden where this whole post came to mind. :P thank you girls. For being the best travel companions one could ever ask for. :)
Alhamdulillah ala kulli ni'mah.

1 comment:

Anak zainol yg moth said...

Super reflective, Paris was indeed just a list of superficial hotspots to visit, but it was fun ticking it off with u guys. Love this yan! And i miss youuu toooo -ika

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...