Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Avenue

Slender women with veil, every few hundred meters prostrate themselves on wide pavements of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a small plastic cup in their sun burnt hands. Passers, mostly tourists gazed at them briefly with indifference as they continue their stroll before large, bright shop windows.

The sun rapidly sets beyond the colossal arms of the Arc de Triomphe, small black cars and vespas are busily circling around it like fire flies attracted to bonfire.

Tourists, Europeans, Americans, Australians, Arabs, Chinese, Japanese, with track-pants, sneakers, and backpacks are scanning surrounding buildings in every direction, looking at reliefs above window frames, reliefs partly covered in gray exhaust dirt, watching the crowd below with a contemptuous look.

Native Parisians who just left their offices heading home choose to walk briskly on the road side, as shop fronts are packed with tourists.

A group of men is in desperation to grab attention of passers by; they play loud Arabic music and encourage crowd to dance. 

A security guard controlled tourist queue is hanging out of Louis Vuitton shop.

The Avenue, once a symbol of Parisian attitude, turned into a globalization showcase, its hay days are long gone and its distinct glamorous character was left behind like an old sweetheart’s sigh.