The Butcher on Bad Advice Street

coffeeThere is a street on the edge of Paris called Bad Advice (Rue Mauconseil). Along with a cafe tabac and the local socialist party offices there is a butchers. Looking at the various cuts of beef there was also something else which I hadn’t eaten and so paused to think – was it time to try some horse?

This is travel at it’s best. Real travel isn’t floating along with the tourist hordes ticking off the guidebook top ten and “doing” the place you spent hard-earned cash getting to. That’s sight-seeing – a passive form of consumerism that I find less appealing as time goes by. Unfortunately, judging by the long and snaking queue I saw outside Versailles, it isn’t going out of fashion.

Travel is about getting inside the local culture and then seeing the world from that perspective. This will challenge and nudge us out of our comfort zones. It can cause us to question the assumptions we live by. We may be restricting or hampering our lives through living by the second-hand and worn out ideas that we’ve come to see as normal. Like horses aren’t for eating.

The cheval did look nice but I didn’t rise to the challenge – may be next time. I did though engage in some drinking “au comptoir” to save a few euros and have committed to avoid drinking coffee out of paper cups but experience a few more espressos in cup and saucer. It seemed the espresso drinkers at the counter valued the short time it took to drink as a small pause, a moment of reflection, a pure coffee experience in contrast to the on the hoof over complex lattes with sprinkles and syrup.

How has travel changed what you do or how you think?


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