1. The view from Julie's balcony was ridiculous.
    You believe if there was an unofficial list for best views in Paris it would be somewhere in the top five.
    You are probably wrong, but you were never one to follow the widely trodden tourist trail.
    You buzz the intercom next to the Pathé cinema and say the password.
    Something in English, to filter out any of Julie's stalkers, ex-lovers or boyfriends. You can only come in the early morning or late at night as this is when the view is best. Take the elevator up to the seventh floor or walk up the staircase, unless you suffer from vertigo.
    Once inside, down the hallway, through the sitting room littered with boho chic furnishings and onto the balcony. The swollen wood beneath your feet is slightly alarming but YOLO and tout va bien and plus the little Chinese lanterns decorating the wrought iron suicide bars are charming.
    One morning, I saw a woman on a scooter hit by a car. The traffic like toy cars were frozen around the Place de Clichy as the two drivers wildly gesticulated. Like unemployed mime artists out of costume and time on their hands.
    The Eiffel Tower stood majestic in the distance while the drivers honked their horns, holding firm in their faith that something would happen.

    # vimeo.com/59562761 Uploaded
  2. I learnt to cross the road again while in Marrakech.

    In my first two days, I couldn't find the gaps in traffic that the locals seemed to be taking advantage of.
    Marrakechi men in their jilabs and school children dressed in their white overcoats would simply waltz out in some magic pathway and leave me still waiting, ever scanning.

    Meanwhile the steady lines of criss-crossing traffic - motorcycles, taxis, cars and horse-drawn carriages continued without reprieve, overlapping without gaps, like the patterns in a Berber tapestry.

    In my first venture to the markets and into Jemma el-Fnaa, the old city square, Julian from the riad where I was staying, acted as my eyes and guide. Before each crossing, he had gently rested his hand against my shoulder before releasing it when the perfect moment had materialised.

    I recounted his tips for crossing as I psyched myself up on the third morning. Find the gap and walk slowly. They will have no choice but to slow down. My heart beat a little faster while the terracotta red of the buildings across the road gently beckoned. I stepped out. Scanned quickly. Walked with purpose. Each step a normal walking pace, not a hint of acceleration. I imagined an invisible jilab around me, masking any signs of fear or tourist hallmarks that might inflame a disgruntled taxi driver.

    I had crossed the road unscathed. Two seconds had passed. My Marrakech morning had begun.

    # vimeo.com/59486845 Uploaded

Around the World in Ten Seconds

Oh Darling Downs

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