Khumbulani Mpofu
3 min readDec 17, 2022


Blank thoughts.

I squeezed in a bit of travel, while pondering the recent revelations on my name. I wont get into that now or again, but it had been a bit of an existential crisis and I was still reeling. So, I looked for the coincidence of a long weekend and I planned an excursion.

Looking for Fish fillet

I checked into the hotel, a no frills stay package with just bed and breakfast. The idea was not to spend much time at the hotel anyway and also not to spend too much money. The Euro is way too strong for us African chaps.

I walked out the hotel and into the chilly air outside. Their winter was arriving and autumn leaves were still sprawled on the streets and there was a slight drizzle. I should have got a fur coat 🤦🏽‍♂️.

This is the third time that I had arrived into the European winter, and it still wasnt welcoming.

I walked across the park, over the bridge and towards the train station. I could see the Roland Garros tennis stadium in the distance.

I wasnt yet going anywhere far from the hotel because I needed to figure out my surroundings to avoid getting lost. And I had been warned that the Paris metro system is a bit of a maze because of the French, and the signs.

I had tried to learn the language in my younger days and only got as far as the common phrases from the movies. Est-ce que tu parles français?

Its been a bad year and also a great year. Aside from the upheaval that arrived in September, I was getting myself back to myself and trying to recover all that I had lost and all that I had left behind. And I was putting behind all of that storming from the last winter in the South.

The traffic light turned green and I walked across, past the other entrance to the Port St Cloud metro station that I then chose as the landmark if I got lost. I walked all the way around the square. A bit of a romantic sight, with the fountains and the church bells in the background.

I stopped to gaze at just that simple convenience of a simple and functional public transport system. Just outside there is a bus station, and you can then transit to wherever on the bus using the same ticket. With some courage, you can traverse all around the city for under €10.

I took a couple of snaps and got inside the American side street cafe that had a menu I could read. The bellhop at the hotel had suggested that I try that one first.

The Asian waitress was multi-lingual and she took my very South African order of pork ribs and chicken wings. I had a belly laugh at that.

I had had no itenerary for this trip. I just knew that I wanted to check-out. And Paris gave me that. A revelry. I was a tourist for that while. But yes, next time I wont go alone 😂

I needed to take in the sights, at little cost, and breathe some different air and take some photographs, and checkout the premium frescoes, the stolen artefacts and the Mona Lisa at the Louvre.

The bloom had come back and the rationality was arriving. And the senses and love signals were getting restored. And that was the reason for my smile. I dont know if that creepied out the other folks on the train on the way back to Port St Cloud.