Friday, 7 June 2013

A privileged view (Προνομιακή θέα)

Today, I spent the day with some friends, visiting lovely places in Hania. 

A friend of mine wanted to buy a new home. As she pored through the real estate agent's brochure's, her property agent gave his recommendations about each one.

"This apartment is expensive because it has a great view. You can see the cathedral from your living room...  That one is small but a little on the pricey side because it has a view from the sea... The bedrooms in this apartment all have a view of the stadium... This apartment is cheaper because it has a noisy street view..." and so on, and so forth.

My friend knew what kind of apartment she wanted to live in: a cosy one that suited her basic needs, wasn't high maintenance and felt safe when she came home after a long day at work. She didn't care for the cathedral view - she could see the cathedral every day as she made her way to the metro station; the view of the sea was only visible from the bathroom window; in her mind, she could hear the noise of the athletes training on Saturday mornings and knew she would never be able to have a sleep-in after a tiring working week. She chose the apartment with the noisy street view:

"The cathedral, the sea and the stadium may be interesting views, but they are also stationary views. I can see them whenever I want. At any rate, I won't be able to see them when I am away from home at work, and I won't be able to see them at night when it's dark. I want to know what's going on in the street below me. On the other hand, the noise that comes from the street makes me feel safe. When the noise changes in come way that isn't normal, I will understand if I am in danger or not. Not only that, but a street view changes every day, and I will see different people moving about in their every day life, no matter what time I am home. A street view gives me the privilege of experiencing something different every day, any time."

I live in a beautiful town, where there are many beautiful views for everyone to see. But even I don't have the privilege of feasting my eyes on those privileged views. I only see them when I make the effort to specifically visit those places with the privileged views. In other words, these views cost each and every one of us a small fortune to see them. But life does not depend on the view you have from your window. And we can't live our lives just for those privileged views.

All the photos have been taken from places where there are no houses, or people's workplaces; in other words, to see them, you must work all day there, or pay good money to visit these places. They are privileged views for virtually all of us. 

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