Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A city not my own

A little known aspect of Sydney's waterfront? Mmm, what do you think?
First of May: with this month's theme "a city other than your own", city daily photo bloggers are playing a huge game of musical chairs, isn't that fun? So where are we here? One clue will suffice: my shot was taken from the first floor of the Eiffel tower.
But the theme is twisted for me: Sydney isn't MY city anyway. After six years here, I'm still a foreigner and not even close to getting the permanent visa that would make me a local. So - which city could I call my own? I'd be hard pressed to answer that one. Paris, above ? I was born and raised there, apart from three years in Singapore, but since the age of 21 only ever came back as a tourist. I've lived for a year in Costa Rica, six years in Tahiti, ten years in Avignon in Provence and now six years in Sydney. While I think fondly of each of these places, is there one I could call mine? Not sure. Sometimes I find this frightening, sometimes I think I'm just a true citizen of the world...
But no time to be sentimental, we're off around the world: 75 cities are participating, see list below. Enjoy!

Un bras peu connu de la baie de Sydney ? Qu'en pensez-vous ? En ce 1er mai, le thème du mois étant "une ville autre que la vôtre", les bloggeurs du réseau City Daily Photo entreprennent un immense jeu de chaises musicales en vous envoyant voir ailleurs; ça devrait être amusant ! Reconnaîtrez-vous cette ville célèbre ? Oui, bien sûr ! Ma photo a été prise depuis le premier étage de la tour Eiffel !
Mais le thème pour moi est troublant : une ville autre que la vôtre ? Mais Sydney n'est pas MA ville ! Après six ans ici, je suis toujours une étrangère et pas près d'obtenir le visa permanent qui me donnerait une légitimité quelconque. Alors, quelle est la ville que je pourrais considérer comme mienne ?Je n'en vois pas. Paris, ci-dessus ? J'y suis née et y ai grandi, sauf pour un intermède de trois ans à Singapour, mais depuis l'âge de 21 ans je n'y retourne qu'en touriste. J'ai vécu un an au Costa Rica, six ans à Tahiti, dix ans à Avignon et maintenant six ans à Sydney. Bien que j'aie gardé avec chacune de ces villes des liens affectifs forts, il y en a-t-il une dont je pourrais dire que c'est chez moi ? Je ne crois pas. Quelquefois ça me fait peur, quelquefois je me dis que je suis juste une vraie citoyenne du monde... Mais trève d'états d'âme, un tour du monde nous attend, 75 villes participent ce mois-ci :

75 blogs participating in this theme day: Monte Carlo, Monaco - London, UK - Singapore, Singapore - Tenerife, Spain - Rotterdam, Netherlands - London, UK - Montréal (QC), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Mazatlan, Mexico - Buenos Aeres, Argentina - Manila, Philippines - Arradon, France - Madison (WI), USA - Evry, France - Seoul, Korea - Shanghai, China - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Sequim (WA), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Budapest, Hungary - Baziège, France - Hamburg, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Nelson, New Zealand - Madison (WI), USA - Vantaa, Finland - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Dubai, UAE - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cork, Ireland - Stockholm, Sweden - Menton, France - Tel Aviv, Israel - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Kitakami, Japan - Stayton (OR), USA - Szentes, Hungary - Stavanger, Norway - Grenoble, France - Villigen, Switzerland - Paris, France - Hyde, UK - Moscow, Russia - Joplin (MO), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Greenville (SC), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Asheville (NC), USA - Seattle (WA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Madrid, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Oulu, Finland - Lubbock (TX), USA - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Sydney, Australia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Vancouver, Canada - Seattle (WA), USA - Selma (AL), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Manila, Philippines - Lyon, France - New York City (NY), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Brookville (OH), USA - Hayle, UK - Wailea (HI), USA (remember that due to time differences, some may only be visible later today)

38 comments:

Kate said...

Hey, I'm reciprocating. The First! I'm glad that you are participating. Great photo,too. You have an interesting personal history. Why did you live in so many places; I'm just simply curious.

RamblingRound said...

A nice city landscape. You have pretty much been around the world! So just pick a city, any city to call your own, or pick them all! I think it would be nice to have lived in so many different cultures.

Nathalie said...

Ah Kate, I married a travelaholic!

santy said...

ah, a true citizen of the world sounds way more interesting! :)

Two&2 LA said...

We were hoping that you would trick us again, like the April Theme. Interesting background of places stayed.

Cergie said...

Ayant le vertige, je ne pense pas monter sur la tour eiffel un jour mais quoisu'ayant le vertige, j'ai photographié Paris depuis la terrasse de L'Institut duMonde arabe. Paris depuis là est sublime.
C'est la Seine qui la rend belle de même que la baie rend Sydney belle...
Citoyenne du monde, je sais ce que ça veut dire ayant vêcu sur trois continents. J'ai pris conscience qu'on goûte chaque minute des retours... Mais qu'on n'est jamais tout à fait là où on est réellement...

Tomate Farcie said...

It's hard to know where "home" is after a while, but I think you put your finger on it exactly when you said you just might be a citizen of the World. Of course, that life is not for everybody because at times one does wonder where one really belongs and it can feel a little bit lonely.

Great shot, by the way.

Ben said...

Great city scape. I love city with river, it reminds my hi school which as just beside the Sumida River in Tokyo.

lasiate said...

intéressant! tu me permets de me faire une autre image de Sidney que je voyais beaucoup plus futuriste

Mandi said...

Great photo. I thought I'd lived all over the world but you take the cake Nathalie!!

lynn said...

What a well travelled person you are! I love this shot, there's so much to see when you click and enlarge.

Oya said...

Which city did you like best that you have lived before ?

lasiate said...

t'exagères!! tu dis "Paris, ci-dessus ?" à la 8ème ligne après avoir commence par "Un bras peu connu de la baie de Sydney "
un poisson d'avril le 1er mai ;)

Peter said...

Although I'm not French, I have lived in Paris for 33 years (more than you, Natalie) and I just adore it. Although I have also travelled around a bit (but clearly not to the same extent as you) and "love" a lot of places, I would still put Paris among the very top ones.

What I particularly like about Paris is the atmosphere in general and also the fact that when you walk around, most places have a history, being linked to some particular historical person or event. "April in Paris" is just over, but May should also be OK.

I will look at some of the blogs you listed. I still have a lot of travelling to do.

Gerald England said...

44th on my world tour -- any many double takes on the way -- gonna be tomorrow before I reach the end -- don't care -- love the journey

Bleeding Orange said...

Tu sembles avoir une histoire passionnante et très intéressante. Je n'ai pas encore eu l'occasion de bouger autant que toi (Grenoble, Birmingham et Paris seulement à mon actif pour le moment...) mais ça me donne vraiment envie de repartir quand je te lis !

bv said...

I am lost. The theme is a city other than your own. And you show us la Capitale des Lumieres. Which, if I understand your words, feels more home to you than Sydney... which is, eventually, not your own at all. So why not posting a Sydney view today then?...

Abraham Lincoln said...

Well this is a stunning photograph and a classic example of beauty in things around you. Nice shot.

My Theme Day portrait is of the "Peashooter" and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Hope you like flying.

ruth said...

Your photo from the first level is way better than ones from the top, IMHO. My best friend is German, but she has lived in the States longer than in Germany. I often ask her questions about German culture, and she says, "I don't know!"

Now I understand one reason you're so wonderful, Nathalie. Living in so many places really does expand a person.

freelancer said...

Paris ! Paris outragé ! Paris brisé ! Paris martyrisé ! Mais Paris libéré !

oups, je suis remontré un peu trop en arrière ...

Belle ville de Paris ... dommage qu'il y ait tant de grisaille ;)

M.Benaut said...

J'aime cette photo, et Paris. Je l'aime juste tout. Merci de l'histoire de votre vie également. Vous êtes resté dans quelques endroits très beaux.

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

Ah... Paris. As Parisienne don't forget next time to take that dreaming city from the Arch de Triomphe !

Z said...

I loved reading your story! It's wonderful, thank you for sharing. These theme days can open up such lovely surprises -- like presents. :-)

As to your question, I think the residents are just being funny and aren't really Texan militia. Or are they? Hm...

Villigen CH

jack said...

Merci Nathalie d'être passé me voir sur mon blog - le tiens est très attrayant aussi, La Ville de Sydney, hyper connu grâce à l'architecture de son Opéra.
bye
jack

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Oh wow, Natalie. You have such an exciting life, living in all those fabulous countries.

You should have a blog of all the countries you have lived in.

I love the photo you posted today.

Nathalie said...

Thanks all for your visits, very much appreciated.

bv, you are right! Since Sydney is not MY city, it would have been quite appropriate to post a shot of Sydney as "a city not my own" - especially since there was a twist to the theme and you could also chose to post something in your city that made you think you were elsewhere. Confusing, I have to say ! Who said identity crisis?

Maxime said...

Je pensais bien à une ville européenne, mais je n'avais reconnu les bords de seine !

Jilly said...

Natalie, I loved your post and photo and can so identify. Like you I've lived in many different parts of the world and yes, - where IS home? Well I've come to the conclusion it's where we ARE, where we feel comfortable. Home is wherever we are at the time. There is that wonderful French phrase 'to be comfortable in one's skin' - that's home, doesn't matter where it is.

Here I am in YOUR country and very happy. I hope you get your Australian papers eventually.

J x

isabella said...

“I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world.”
Eugene Debs

I too, ramble around a lot, so I empathize.

Thanks for this lovely photo of my beloved Paris...

Jack said...

Quel étrange parcours entre Sydney - Le Costa Rica - Paris et encore d'autres villes - Moi je suis parisien, même si je n'y suis plus, mais je m'en sens newyorkais de coeur "pourtant je suis Invalide du 11 Septembre WTC" j'avais donc tout pour détester cette ville
mais du négatif j'ai su extraire le positif.donc c'est une adoption que je fais envers cette Big Apple.
Merci Nathalie d'avoir vogué sur mon blog.
Voilà mon site
http://perso.orange.fr/saban/
Jack

kris said...

Great post, Nathalie! if you decide to move again, please start a DP, ok ;)

travelholic, i think i can take up that job, where to apply? lol

GMG said...

Wow, born in Paris, living six years in Tahiti, ten years in Avignon and six years in Sydney... I wouldn't care not to have a city of my own...

Meg in Nelson said...

And I thought I was confused between mere three countries.... This is a wonderfully big shot... And truly a beautiful city.

Belinda said...

A citizen of the world? That is so wonderful! You are made up of every experience you ever had in each city you ever lived in, so yes - you are a TRUE citizen of the world and should bask in the beauty of being so.

Paris Set Me Free said...

Nice to see a pic of Paris, and also to discover something of Oz - I've lived in Perth for a year but never made it to the East coast...

Dsole said...

Nathalie! what a beautiful view!!
Paris is beautiful indeed :)

denton said...

I think in most cases the city thought of as your own is where you lived during your childhood. Those formidable years of grade school and high school. They have a lasting impression on a person.

Keropok Man said...

wow! u really travelled the world!

you liked your time in Singapore? ;-p