Fighting through the daily grind in the same country where childhood flashed by in an almost dreamlike film-sequence, life is steeped in strong nostalgia.
Suddenly, hipsters lurk in a city that is known for materialism, and they are heart-achingly out of place to everyone but them. Suddenly, TOMS are more in fashion than Louboutin’s, and organic cafes are the chill destination of choice, while Starbucks lies dusty and neglected.
And it doesn’t feel real. It feels like what it is; a desperate attempt to bring a cultural and artistic sensibility to a country that built its fortune on the artificial. While we have spent years turning up our noses at the materialism the country thrived on, we also spent years creating our own nooks of culture and history.
My history doesn’t live in warehouse jams. It lies in portable CD players we took to the beach as we listened to mixes that took a few days to download. My culture doesn’t lie in organic artisan coffee, but in the hazelnut latte sachets we bought as we curled up on couches and watched Roswell on Thursday afternoons. My art doesn’t lie in pop up stores selling handmade wares, but in a Souq that decorated and accessorized us for years.
Everyday, I don’t admire what it’s become.
I remember what it used to be before it tried too hard to be something else.