Meeting up with friends in little Africa, Paris: seeing the hidden ugliness

After that wonderful night of strolling through Paris, the morning after was hard. The time difference really messed me up. It was like getting up at midnight my time. Well, still had to fight through it. One of the down sides of constant travel, your body has to get used to the time zone changes. If it doesn’t, you are in for a rude awakening.

Farmer’s market in little Africa Taken by Hugo Morel

Walking like a zombie, I met up with my local friends. They wanted to show me around little Africa in Paris. One of my friends was half Senegalese and half french. So, she promised to show me how the Senegalese eat their food. Of course, we ended meeting up at the local KFC. Since that’s what the French think about Americans. McDonald’s and KFC are jokingly claimed as the American embassies.

Another shot of the farmer’s market taken by Hugo Morel

As we were on our way to find the Senegalese restaurant, they showed me the real life of immigrants in Paris. Paris is not a nice place to live, if you are from one of the former French colonies. Life is rough in Paris. They told me employment is difficult for immigrants. Got to see a side of Paris, not many tourists have access to.

Little Africa logo brought to you by google

Now, as we were going toward the restaurant, we finally came across some American posters. In Paris, people want to speak English like they do in Wall Street, New York City. If they only knew, how little English is spoken there and how many curse words are used instead. This experience was such an awesome culture exchange. They got to learn about the USA and I was exposed to a new side of the french capital.

The poster I was mistaken as a racist advertisement taken by Hugo Morel

We started walking towards the Senegalese restaurant and we noticed this poster. At first we were mistaken at the time as it being a black face racist advertisement. I was corrected. However, I still noticed the undertone racism that goes on in France. It was like connecting the dots. For a country that has only one race, you can’t help but notice the hypocrisy. Inequality, still goes on strongly here. Even, if “race” is just the human race in France on paper. From the gypsies to the immigrants of the former french colonies, people are discriminated. Hope one day, people can stop seeing the differences and end discrimination. We can all learn from each other and help build a better world for the next generation. That’s my wish for humanity. This is why I encourage others to travel. You will learn to understand others different to you. Eventually, you will learn to love humanity. Even, if we are very flawed.

Ps. We never got to eat at the Senegalese restaurant. It was opened when called them but closed, when we got there. According to my half Senegalese friend, they didn’t feel like being open on a Sunday. 😆 Apparently, Senegalese people change their minds like race cars change tires. She did warned me though.

Thank you for reading. Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Meeting up with an old friend and seeing how much travel has changed you

My good friend was in town to meet up with me. We haven’t seen each other in years and we needed to catch up. Who knew this experience would be so reflective.

My childhood friend and I

I was excited to meet up with my friend. We haven’t seen each other in years. This guy is like a brother to me. We been through a lot of rough times with each other. We knew each other since toddler years. He has been through a lot in life. So, it’s always good to see him with a smile on his face.

Outside of the Indian restaurant taken by Hugo Morel

Of course knowing me, I convinced him to eat some Indian food. We went to a nearby Indian restaurant and we were a little bit thrown off. To our surprised, the restaurant was aimed more for romantic couples. This brings the joke of bromance to a whole new level.

Inside atmosphere taken by Hugo Morel

Of course, we didn’t care what others might think and we ordered our food. As we waited, we exchanged stories about our lives and how our old friends are doing. After some time, the topic of my travels came up. Explain to him about my travel experiences and all my personal growth. Also, spoke about the awesome people I met, the cultures I learned about and the countries I have been to. The conversation became deep and intense.

My friend with the “bromance” heart in the background taken by Hugo Morel

He could sense the passion in my stories. Eventually, after speak for what seemed like 30 mins, we got our food. To his surprised, he saw I ordered food he never seen me eat before. My friend told me with a smirk on his face, “travel has really changed you. You aren’t the same person I grew up with. The Hugo I know, would eat the same food until he died.”

Taken by Hugo Morel

Those words really cut me deep. I was scared that I was becoming something that nobody back in my hometown would be able to relate to. The part of California we are from, there wasn’t much diversity at the surface. You really needed to look hard to find a Nepalese restaurant or anything diverse. All we had was awesome mexican food, some Chinese and occasional soul food. Unfortunately , that is usually it.

Indian rice taken by Hugo Morel

Still with my fears, my friend and I still had a great time. It felt great to enjoy your time with a childhood friend. All the laughs made me forget about the strom being created in my head. Best to live in the moment, being lost in thought would be disrespectful. Especially, when friends fly just to see you.

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Off to the city of Love(wine), Paris

I just came back from a trip to Jamaica. I was somewhat feeling down and lonely. It’s been a while since I been in a relationship and ironically, the chance to go to paris came knocking my way. Also, Im guilty of buying wine on the plane ride to Paris. No regrets!!

The Eiffel tower Taken by Hugo Morel

When I finally arrived to Paris, I took the Paris subway to my hotel. I found a deal near the center of this beautiful city. It was about a five minute walk to the Eiffel tower from my room. Of course, you all should know that was the first thing I did.

After walking without a real purpose, I found that tower everybody goes crazy for. It was truly beautiful. Didn’t bother to go to the top because time was too valuable. Waiting in line, would waste precious sunlight.

Another shot of the Eiffel tower taken by Hugo Morel

Just decided to explore around the Eiffel tower. It’s was very interesting to see all the parks that are surrounding this landmark. You see people playing basketball and soccer.

An important looking building taken by Hugo Morel

Started walking around more and I found this building. It looked important, so I took a picture. Keep in mind, I wanted to follow the flow with this trip. The most important task, to me, was to see the Eiffel tower. That was done. So everything after, was just living in the moment. Sometimes it’s best to just enjoy your time in another country and relax. Going to point A to point B, just causes more unnecessary stress. What’s the point of living a life full of stress? It will only make you live shorter.

Taken by hugo morel

Eventually, stumbled onto this restaurant. I saw people drinking wine and that’s what attracted me. When in Paris, one must drink wine. Also, French steak is otherworldly!

It’s funny, a lot of people go to Paris to look for love. Me, I just wanted wine and to see the Eiffel Tower.

Thank you so much for reading! Much love and safe travels!

To start your own adventures, check out the link below.

Check out our latest e-book “How to Travel for Dirt Cheap” by Hugo Morel for ways to make your dreams of traveling come without breaking the bank: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M848M47?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420&fbclid=IwAR0_mRF-eE9tODIshljVr7CQ8h6vKT6hHn_8gZfJ94DySY1ylPO2Itu2Qe0

Getting dragged into a soccer (football ⚽) rally in the USA?

The good thing about having friends is when you are down, they try to understand. As a last effort of trying to understand my situation, my friends invited me to a soccer game. I didn’t think too much of it at first. However, this event would change my outlook on the American culture.

Hudson River taken by Hugo Morel

Started off as a normal day of hanging out at the park. Saw a beautiful view of the Hudson River and had to take a photo. One of my friends called me asking, if I would like to go to a soccer game for a local professional team. I agreed, since I wanted to take my mind off all the changes that were happening to me.

Red bulls rally taken by Hugo Morel

Took the Jersey transit to go to the red bulls arena. The trip was actually very short from Pennsylvania station in New York City. Eventually, met my friend who was really pushing me to buy a red shirt. Of course, me being the “socially aware” person I am, I wore blue. The team the NY red bulls were facing had blue jerseys. Apparently, this is was like walking to a gang territory wearing the wrong colors. By the photo above, you can see how much they love red.

People starting fires taken by Hugo Morel

Somehow and someway, I got dragged into a rally. They shut down the whole street. Everyone was either drunk or just crazy passionate fans. They started fires in the middle of the road. Cars couldn’t go through. Had no idea how I got into this, I was just following the crowd. Moral of the story, never follow a group of sport fans.

Red bulls arena taken by Hugo Morel

When I got to the stadium and never in my wildest dreams did I expected Americans to be so excited about “soccer”/football! Growing up, the only sports that mattered were basketball, baseball and American football (the one with tackling, Sundays nights and tons of beer). I had to pinch myself a bit. Seriously thought, I never left Europe for a second. Unless, the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural importance on sports wasn’t the American norm.

Game starting taken by Hugo Morel

So apparently, my friend hooked me up with seats that only loyal paying fans were allowed to sit. It was very chaotic! Very minute, there was a new song about the red bulls. All I kept thinking was, “all this for a soccer game?” “Am I really in the USA right now?” Still stunned, I saw a fan running into the field. I couldn’t believe it. I expected this for American football games, not for soccer.

Random guy being taken off the field taken by Hugo Morel

Not entirely sure what was going on in his brain at that moment. However, the guy didn’t look too proud. Seriously, still can’t believe this was an American soccer game. Ironically, the next big trip was I going to make, is a country where soccer is the national sport.

Forgot who won, to be honest. The whole time, I was just overwhelmed at the culture shock. My friend showed me that there’s more to the American culture than what is on the Media. In this diverse and beautiful country, there’s something for everybody. Regardless of your interest, this country gives you the freedom to express your hobbies and passions.

Thank you for reading!! Much love!! Have an awesome weekend!!

 

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