A l’arriere des taxis

This song called “A l’arriere des taxis” (On the back seats of taxis) keeps on coming in my head. The band who sings it is called “Noir Desirs” (Black desires). I actually saw them life at the Sziget Festival in Budapest in 2002. It used to be the most popular French Rock band, until the lead singer and composer killed his girlfriend and his career in 2003.

A l’arrière des taxis

The song is about people spending a lot of their lifes, taking taxis to link the different points of their live in these big and incredible cities. “C’est Paris, Moscou, Berlin, Berlin l’enchanteresse” (It’s Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Berlin the magic one). The song is from 1989, just before the Berlin wall fell, and the world changed forever. Had it been a little later, you could add Prague, Budapest, Beijing, Shanghai and many more of the fallen cities of marksim. The song is full of references to Moscow and Russian communism. I can’t stop having images of Lenin statues being toppled by crowds and falling communism when I hear it.

“Ils s’aiment a l’arrière des taxis, tant que les heures passent” (they love each other on the back seats of taxis, as long as the hours fly away). People live and love at the back of taxis, flying around the arteries of Shanghai. Taxis are just so much a way of life here you take them to go everywhere… particularly at night time. I take taxis about twice a day on average… Taxis are where we live, work and love. I have so many memories on the back seat of taxis… As in Budapest and Saigon before, a lot of my Shanghai life takes place “A l’arrière des taxis”.

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