At a lively café tucked in an alleyway somewhere in East London on a cold, rainy day. Peering up at me is a steaming pot of proper Irish porridge with fruits, dates, and honey. A bit of a nomad today, I depart for Spain in the evening and I’m in the sweet limbo of the coming-and-going when you’re traveling — where you can pause from your everyday life and shadow a parallel existence — live in an alternative life, to which another series of choices may have directed you. Where would I reside if given a choice?
The city is vast with opportunities to explore, yet I’m weighed down by what I’ve brought to it — perhaps quite physically and a bit metaphorically. Thinking of the road ahead and plans I must continue when I arrive back, I’m drawn towards taking the day to reflect — to catch back up on what this short trip meant to me and to contrast this with my life back home.
A thought enters my mind: Perhaps in each city you carry a different persona, a mask you wear that matches the city. What you wear, how you act, all your mundane actions are a reaction and reflection of the place you’re currently situated.
I recognize this tendency in each place I travel to — musical taste changes, the words I use alter, and mostly how I dress — all as an adaptation and way to immerse myself to the current settings, consciously or otherwise… What are the consequences of this?
Further, if the metamorphoses is so easy, as simple as changing masks upon arrival, then what is it below that remains unchanged? What is impenetrable?
Perhaps these unchanging aspects of each person is host to commonalities across time, cultures, and places and is the underlying foundation for the connections you find with people — a red thread carried through out — commonalities seen through the differences.
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