Friday, 23 September 2011

Don't Mind The Gap

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Don't Mind The Gap ~

Don't Mind The Gap, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.
BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

An imposing figure in flowing white striped robes stands a respectable distance from a similarly coloured line at his feet.

One of a row of brightly clad clones nevertheless dutifully reminds him to mind the gap.

The colour of their skin is the same; that of their uniforms and, indeed, their uniforms' forms radically different.

Does the tall robed one know what 'a gap' is? Well let's not be too patronising; there are millions of colourful characters who have been successfully living here for decades, perfectly aware of how the metro works. And possibly finding as ironic as I do these bright young things earnestly telling us still alive oldies how to avoid getting splatted by a train for one more day. But the intention's a good one, I suppose, although I don't know what platform plunging statistics are behind this initiative.

Or perhaps it's just a public relations stunt by a highly visible organisation desperate to be 'seen to be doing' something, irrespective of how useful that 'something' actually us. As well as getting a few kids off the dole queues, which is always seen as a Good Thing.

Cynicism aside, though, I reckon it probably is good to give young people a taste of the social responsibility such a role involves, and maybe the authority, or at least the respect, that comes with a uniform, even if the respect is sometimes grudging, and the uniform simply a red jacket with some writing ironed on the back.

And anyway, it's true that the rush hour at certain stations in Paris can be unpleasant to say the least but I don't think Japanese-style sardine stuffing duties are yet part of the scarlet ones' job descriptions, and I hope it stays that way. And I'd still like to know what the other uniformed one thinks of it all. We all wear uniforms of one kind or another, in fact, whether we like it or not. The hardest part is to admit it and, if useful, shed them. Appearances can be deceptive. Will you show me yours if I show you mine? And don't mind the gap. It's usually just an illusion.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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