Friday, July 04, 2008

"You are primitive"

As usual I was too early at the yoga studio. To be precise I was 1 hour too early. So I walked a bit around and at the corner was a cafe. I asked the waiter if it was already open. He said yes and I sat down. As it was such a beautiful cafe with walls made of mosaic and colorful cushions in a corner, I took my camera out of the bag in order to take a picture. So far I haven't taken so many picture. A good opporunity, I thought, my blog in mind. When the waiter saw the camera he said: "No, no." "Oh", I said to him, " You have such a beautiful cafe, I only wanted to take a picture of this corner, but if you don't like it........."

The waiter disappeared in the kitchen and I thought that this was a good opportunity to leave the cafe. It was no more such a nice place to stay, not even for a tea. I didn't feel welcomed.

I left the cafe, crossed the street and then a man probably the owner, was runnig behind me shouting very loudly: "You are primitive, very primitive, you cannot take pictures........and so on. It was the first time that I didn' t regret it that I didn't understand everything.

I turned to him and said: Sorry, you have such a beautiful cafe, I only wanted to take a picture, but you didn't like it and so I haven't taken a picture.
He went on shouting: you are primitive, very primitive.

I thought: Who am I? I am pure consciousness.
I answered: Yes, I am primitive. Thank you very much. And bye-bye. (All in French language, I'm very proud of myself.). I only wanted to get rid of this guy, the best way to get rid of him is to have something in common, the same opinion, I thought.

I was dressed very elegantly today with pastel shades, my cleavage was decorated with lila pearls, my face with a bit of lipstick and mascara. I was carrying my white hand bag, my camera and my yoga mat. The man was not shaved, dressed with loose clothes and obviously really angry.

Finally he left me still shouting: primitive, primitive . My energy level was high. This could have been a danger and I'm an animal. My instincts are always awake. I was ready to run away, I was ready for a fight. But there was no danger.

I sat on a bench then , smiling and enjoying the energy level: that's good for my yoga practice I thought.

But I also reflected on taking pictures: Lately I read a book on India as a preparation for my trip. The author pointed out that the Indians don't like it when tourists take pictures of the misery, the poor people, because it paints a wrong picture of India. Nowhere in the world people like it to be photographed at a funeral. It's the same in India. I'm conscious that once I have a camera in the hand, I become a voyeur without mercy. There is perhaps a paparazzi in all of us. Perhaps this man prepared me for India. To be more sensitive, to ask people for permission before taking pictures might be a good hint. Of course I want to be polite. Of course I want to respect the feelings and privacy of others.

My love to France isn't touched at all through this event. I love it to be here.


Marie said...

Bon Jour, Ursula-

You handle things so beautifully! You are like the graceful Audrey Hepburn of awkward social moments!!

Through your experience, we can all learn and enjoy.


Ursula said...

Bonjour Marie,

Thank you for your compliment.

I'm thankful for those life situation. They show me how detached I can be. I was rather detached. Such a man cannot touch anything of me. He cannot really change my mood or whatever. That was nice to see.

Best wishes from France. You would love it to be here.

Á bientot.


idoru said...

I would have taken a picture of the man, just to spite him.

Anonymous said...

Just going thru blogs on the internet about yoga and came across yours. Yes its true that people dont like it in India if u you take pics of poverty. But the people protesting will be people like me, who are not living in poverty, the poor people themselves wont. I know that they may even invite you to take some pics, even of the funeral maybe, if done delicately. I hope you enjoy your trip there. One suggestion- India will overwhelm you, the heat, the mass of humanity, disorganisation blah blah and also the pure human emotions that you will experience, nothing is hidden, everything is out there in your face. You may hate India or you may fall in love with it..but you cant ignore India or fight India. I hope you enjoy your trip.