Monday, 25 January 2010

from St Jean de Luz to St James's Park

Taking a break from St Jean de Luz (it is so exhausting and stressful) I have headed back to my old haunts in London. It's been a wee while since I was last here and I was immediately assaulted by the sheer volume of people. I used to laugh when countryside friends would make such comments but the worlds bigger cities do seem to be getting busier...

One of London's most endearing qualities is its complex enthnicity. Within an hour of arriving I met people from every continent and many countries from within each. The multi-culturalism creates a liberal and accepting generic culture, but one that unfortunately also houses hidden resentments. St Jean de Luz, and the Basque country as a whole, is far less populated and its people largely one and the same. The Basque face can be readily recognised. While there is an enormous sense of community that has been largely lost elsewhere in Europe this can lead to a little sceptism about 'outsiders'.

It seems that people everywhere are nervous about people that look or sound different. While outright dismissal is abhorrent, it can be equally dangerous to embrace without understanding, I guess a little learned apprehension can be a good thing. As an outsider seeking acceptance I feel it is my duty to understand my new society and make every effort to learn its ways rather than expecting it to bend to mine but without forgetting my Scottish heritage. Creating local interest in my differences seems to have helped break down barriers and speed up integration. Life is interesting.

Basque of the day:- travel :: bidaiatze