Thursday, December 21, 2006

stories from the train: lost in translation

You hear a lot of crazy things when you cram a ton of people into the same location every morning. People say stupid things, people fart on you, and sometimes you get some music along with it all.

At the Embaraderro BART station, there's an old asian man who sits by the escalators most mornings and plays traditional music on his erhu, a traditional stringed Chinese instrument. It's pretty quaint and definitely beats the usual mumble-ridden acoustic guitar busking you tend to find in most other subways.

Today, though, the guy clearly was in the holiday mood - either that, or he just wants some money from those who are - because he was trying to play "Jingle Bells." I say trying because he only sorta' had the melody right. I don't know if it's a limitation of the erhu or if he just doesn't know the tune.

I didn't have a means to record it, but I did my best to recreate it as soon as I got to my office. It sounded like this:

Click here to get your own player.

As I was leaving, I found myself behind a british guy having a conversation with a german guy. They both new each other and were talking about their plans for the holiday. It was a ... special conversation.

Anglo: Hey, mate.
Saxon: Oh! Hello! I thought you had taken your plane already!
Anglo: Naw, I don't fly out 'til tomorra.
Saxon: Well, here's to hoping you don't fly through Denver.
Anglo: [laughs] Yeah, dat's quite a blizzahd they got.
Saxon: [laughs as well] Yes, well, I hope to see you die.

!!! What?? I don't know what the hell that guy was trying to say, but I sure as hell hope it wasn't that. Crazy germans.


EmoRiot said...

Clearly the Germans are still bitter about World War I and II.

russ said... the subway ambience.