Erasmus+ Napak Ruang Refleksi

Short Stories about Crossroads

1.Paris, France
Imagine waiting to cross the road in a city in France where of course French is the official language, but when you look to your left, someone is speaking in some language you don’t know (but definitely not French too), and on your right, someone else is also speaking in another language. And when light finally turns green, you walk to the other side and realize that a presumably Japanese woman was talking in Spanish instead.

I don’t know if it’s due to the tourism industry, or the immigrants, or simply expats, but Paris is a highly, if not extremely, multicultural city. You can easily spot people from anywhere in the world, even Indonesians (PS: Our people tend to stand out somehow.)

This left me pondering back to the age of kingdoms, where the concept of a country is still considered very strange and impossible. “A kingdom where the king doesn’t exist and people can live their own ways? Meh, I’ll pass.” But now look at the fall of monarchies and therefore these 190-something countries.

Then maybe the idea of a global “country” isn’t so impossible too. Where Mexico and Canada are cities instead of countries, and people can travel back and forth easily without borders just like.. well, between cities. Where it’s normal to care about problems in Mongolia without people saying that you’re not “nationalist”. Where everyone can look different and it is okay because it’s just different region where we’re from but we’re still one. And when you can claim every food as your food (isn’t that awesome??).

After all, we are all neighbors, living together on this Earth, the only place we can call home. Why bother keeping the borders, why bother taking people’s rights out just because of their nationality or their religion or their ANYTHING really?

“Why can’t we just look at humans as humans, the same way as we look at turtles as just turtles?” – Matt Haig

2.Bratislava, Slovakia
I always love taking pictures of people waiting to cross the street. They all have different directions, yet they stop at the same place and wait for the same thing together, like an anonymous gathering of Do-Nothing Club.

They can come in various scales: small intersection with mainly tourists (like this), or really big one like the Shibuya Crossing.

They can be of any mix: young adults, people in wheelchairs, a woman in a business suit or a man who sells street-food noodles and carries them in bowls.

For a split second, they are a community. They even have the same unreadable expression! And when the red light changes into green, they walk together to the other side and burst into different smaller units again. Who knows, maybe they‘ll bump into another crossing and do that thing again, just with with another people.

Isn’t life just a bunch of pedestrian crossings too?

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