No visit to Nancy in summer can be complete without a visit to the grand Place Stanislas after dusk. At quarter to eleven each night the light and sound spectacle projects onto three sides of the square. It’s a sublime way of capping a day spent neck deep in art and architecture and shopping with a dash of lunch on the side.
While all this is happening on the one hand, on the other side of the canal from where we are moored is a beautiful Japanese style garden, which has apparently been designated as something called a Pokémon gym. The kind of humans whose brains are sufficiently large to keep their ears apart, may not be aware of the ramifications of having a Pokémon gym adjacent to where one lives. The silence is almost deafening, as hundreds, yes hundreds of people walk, stand in circles and even cycle as if transfixed, heads bowed concentrating on the screen of a smart phone, oblivious to all that is beyond.
The astonishing thing is that as the day progresses, the numbers of people intent on catching whatever it is they are supposed to be catching increases exponentially. Pokémon do not turn into pumpkins at midnight apparently, (forgetting for just a moment that they are not real) as the seething throng seem to carry on going gently into the endless good night. When last I looked there were still dozens in the early hours of the morning, and they are back when we rise as well.
If their vision extends beyond their screens, they’d probably look at us equally puzzled, comforted by the thought that we don’t know what we’re missing.