BAM Blog

Clueless in Carcassonne

You can’t always get what you want...
Musée Ariana, Genève, Suisse
“You can’t always get what you want” is swirling through my mind as I meander my way home through the streets of Carcassonne’s Bastide, this, after a very welcome injection of Geneva, Switzerland. Geneva is lovely, picturesque, clean, with free public transportation for visitors and … well no, not lively… but very pleasant and enjoyable if you can afford her eye scorching prices. And she is certainly more urban and sophisticated than sleepy, quaint but somewhat “Clueless in Carcassonne”.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love Carcassonne. And exactly what I dislike so much about her makes her so strangely adorable… if that makes any sense at all. Try as they might, the Carca authorities do not seem to fully appreciate and understand just how to capitalize on the sparkling jewel that could be, that IS Carcassonne. After all, we are the second most visited place in France, I’ll have you know!

I hear time and again from my fellow “étrangers”, the most unfortunate French word for ”foreigner, stranger, alien, outsider or intruder”, “Carcassonne could be so amazing if only”… if only this, if only that… However, there is only space for improvement if we can fully see that which we are blessed with. This is the gift outsider experiences offer our colloquial insider demons. Only those open and willing, experience the birthing of new horizons.

I believe the trick to successful living is to always yearn for the wonder and enjoyment in life, wherever we are, in whatever circumstance we find ourselves placed. I know! This is not an easy task… I have had my fair share of tumbles, bruises, broken hearts and days of self-doubt from missing this point. So what about turning the stubbornness of “what if” around on ourselves? WE could be amazing if only… What? If we stopped looking outside ourselves, blaming our circumstances, looking to others for our approval … Instead how about we give into the flowing river… sail with the wind… look to the sky in wonder and amazement and believe we have arrived. This IS our moment and it is up to us to, “make it so”.

Yes, if only we could all get what we want all the time… but alas, maybe, just maybe, we are getting all that we need, right now in this precious and timely moment.

Now, on to do the dishes, clean and hoover the house all with a smile in my heart and a lightness of foot. Remembering to cherish this quaint, unsophisticated, somewhat closed-minded town, I chose to lay my head… for now.