China in my ears

I have never been a fan of moving my music with me. I remember the first walkmans being introduced in France, with the old cassette tape in it. A lot of my friends were getting one and I ended up buying one as well. I never used it a lot, neither did I use his CD based successor much more. Short battery life and the necessity to carry music supply with me were a killer… but most importantly I always felt very strange to be separated from the world by the headphones. I always tend to listen to and observe everything around me, so the very idea to cut this source of permanent entertainment is a little weird for me. Sound is also a way to
understand the surrounding environment. In crossing busy Shanghai streets, hearing the right sound can save your life from being crushed by an incoming bus…

I am sitting in the French high speed train (TGV) looking at the countryside speeding through the window left to me. 48 hours in Europe including a shopping spree in Paris yesterday, I am going home to reconnect with my family. Jet-lag and late night enjoying friends before taking the plane are still taking their toll on my sleepy eyes. Going home is always a lot of
nice feelings, as well as a lot of nostalgia. I enjoy tremendously and I somehow fear it a little as well. I start my computer to write another of those blog posts. I write about how much the
Paris near suburbs from the 1920’s remind me of the French concession that dates from the same period. Inspiration is difficult to come, constantly disturbed by the crying baby next to me and the conversations of people around that I cannot stop from hearing as
they are in my mother tongue. This is when I dig my SKYPE portable headset from my computer suitcase and start a MP3 player software… as I suddenly felt like cutting myself from the world.
Any music will do as long as it covers the surrounding noise. Chinese notes invade my head within seconds and I am transported to a different universe. Through the hilly fields of the French countryside, I can see rice paddies and terraces from China. Somehow warmed by this usual sound, I feel much better and linked again to Shanghai. I also remember my
friendly music composer of neighbor who gave me this file because I used to listen to it all the time… through the wall separating our both apartments. Sitting in the train facing my computer, I am probably using the wolrd’s clumsiest portable MP3 player… but it does the
trick. I will get a real player very soon, so that I can carry China in my ears with me everywhere.

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