Safe journeys

Safe journey, old friend, and tell us how it goes.
Take with you some aims and goals
And when you get there,
Meet those people, see their habitat,
Find their intricacies:
The small things that make them tick
The things that make them, them
Things they wouldn’t notice amongst themselves.

Activities, customs and acts they can’t help doing
Out of desire, necessity or routine.

Find out where the grandmothers go to buy.
To buy fresh produce, delicacies and goodies.

Find the places where the outcasts leave their trace
Rebelling against their customs, only to accept them
And need them later on.

Hang round where the old fellas go to be left alone
From the busy world
Where they can watch the world go by
And ponder undisturbed, even by your presence.

Find out where they make things and
Where the craftsmen love what they do
And couldn’t do anything else, or else they’d wither.

Watch those busy and overworked people, using their customs
To deal with that whirlwind situation and
Do multiple things at once and yet still assist you.

Seek those unique characters in unremarkable places
With their life story wrinkled, grinned and burrowed into their face
Someone you’d never forget –
But someone you’ll never see again.

Test yourself with your language skills
See if you can learn from them
And test the adequacy of your respect;
They might be learning from you.

What surprises them and makes them laugh?
What bothers them, compelling them to act?

What makes them, them?
And when you come back:
What makes you, you?