Notepad on Life

December 19, 2016

French at a bus stop – a nation transformed

Filed under: Culture,music — - @ 12:29 pm
Tags: , ,

Whether or not climate change is the culprit, it was the type of English winter evening that I have come to despise. No crisp, cleansing cold, just a disheartening mild wetness; creepy drizzle making persistent inroads down the back of my neck, forcing me into the haven of the bus shelter.

The woman already in there could have been talking to a friend or partner. I caught the word “acheter“, so maybe the subject was Christmas shopping. All that mattered, however, was that she was speaking into her mobile phone in animated French, and the longer she did so, the more transformed our location became, like when you catch part of a song you haven’t heard in years, and your environment is suddenly tinged by memories.

The rain gradually took on a romantic aspect. Reflected office lights twinkled in a thousand tiny pools on the road and sullen Nature was lifted by human charm. Someone lighting up a Gauloise at this point would have been  favourably received.

What if you could extrapolate that cameo, I wondered, walking through the city bus station, half-an-hour later: replace the tinny Christmas jingles on the PA with a bit of what follows. Would its denizens find their mood softening without really knowing why? Would they smile at strangers and pass the time of day? Would love fill the air instead of the all-pervading stench of dope?

Play some of this and envisage your own local bus station as you do so. Has to be worth a try at least.

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