“Is having a car a pain or is it a guy-thing to talk about his car all the time and in your case to complain about it?”, was Eric’s comment to Marc’s frustration due to an expected car related expense (I didn’t really understand what it was about). Marc wouldn’t let that specific comment go down without blood. “Car is an essential part of our lives today. Only weird people do not have a car”, he said, pointing to Eric. At once, Alice and I raised our hands and said with one voice “I do not have a car either”. Eric was not upset. He almost felt sorry for Marc. “Marc, there is life without a car. Close your eyes and imagine just a day without your car. Or even better a city without cars”.
This was it. This was such a cool idea for some reflection. For some dreaming. A day without something. What a great idea to tempt yourself to experience the unthinkable. Or the opposite. A whole day without something that you consider a given, as a way to appreciate it more. So this kind of very deep reflection of mine generated the following ideas for our city.
A DAY WITHOUT CARS
This was an obvious one. Imagine the whole city being like Rue du Rhone or like Zermatt. A playground for pedestrians. For kids to play. For all of us to enjoy the city from the very center of the road without the fear of being ran over by a car. A day without pollution: environmental and noise. A Day without cars is actually already established in many cities on September 22nd every year.
A DAY WITHOUT ADS
Anywhere. On TV. On youtube. On the radio. On the internet. Without pop-up windows. Without having to wait for 5 seconds or 30 seconds to listen to a song. Without having to escape from inappropriate and irrelevant material that you have to click like 12 times to go away. Or without having to wait for 10 minutes to see what happens next during your favorite soap opera. Will we miss them? Just an idea. Advertisers, do not shoot me pls!
A DAY WITHOUT INTERNET
A day that obliges us to get up and go talk to people. Or call them? Or even better: a day that we have to talk to each other at coffee places. Did I mention the no-email-at-work part?
A DAY WITHOUT COOKED FOOD
This might be super easy for some of you. However it will be such a beautiful opportunity for some others to discover the amazing taste of vegetables and fruits.
A DAY WITHOUT MAKE-UP
I do not intent to scare you. This is not what I had in mind. But what about if we let our real faces to be seen in the city? What the most important people in our lives see everyday. If the most important ones can cope with it, I bet the rest would be fine too.
A RED DAY
Red is our color as a country. How about if everybody is obliged to wear something red. Something major and visible. Underwear and a pin or lipstick do not count. If you do not obey the Red rule, you are not accepted on the tram or at work (you have to put it down as a precious vacation day and go home, not welcome in the city that day). Let’s paint the city red.
A HAT DAY
In a similar manner, a day like we are at Ascot. A day that we express our creativity, our taste, and we look different than any other day. Do you see any hats on the street today?
A VOLUNTEER DAY
Companies, schools, public sector, we are all obliged to be involved in some volunteer activity for the day. I say obliged and I know it does not sound nice. But it is for a good reason and we might discover that we have fun spending time with the elderly, the kids with special abilities, the kids without families or serving the homeless.
AN ALL SMILES DAY
Imagine a tram, a bus, the coffee places, the streets, the office, full of people who smile to each other. Strangers smiling to each other. Maybe motivated by canton agents or volunteers… Does it sound as amazing to you as it sounds to me?
A DAY OF POETRY
We go to the office and we spend the whole day reading poetry. Or there is poetry sounding from the speakers in the public transport. Or people ask for our attention in order to read you their poems. From Baudelaire to W. H. Auden. Or own poems. Remember mine about Geneva? Huge success. LOL.
Canton de Geneve, which one will you choose to establish? Imagine that some of these days can become so popular globally to attract extra tourism. And us, the heart of Geneva, which one would we go for?