Friday, October 06, 2006

Fast Car

Last night, after a party at Mohammed's house, we headed out into the city. Everyone here drives like a crazy person, which makes the trip out exciting, to say the least. People zip confidently around the narrow streets and traffic circles, and up and down the steep hills. No one ever seems to hit anything (or each other) though, which makes me a little less nervous as we careen around town.

We went out to a bar called Zan, which is very low-key, with lots of little tables, and an outdoor patio. As we drank our Heinekins, and I managed to follow most of the conversation, I realized that the guy sitting next to me was humming a song I know. Then I realized that the bartender had changed the CD, and that Tracy Chapman was the score for the evening.

At first, I thought, "How weird. I never hear her anywhere but the US. She barely exists in Europe." And then, as I really listened to the lyrics I've known since I was a kid, and my parents had the record, I realized how relevant these songs must seem. Her album is full of songs about change, revolution, escape to a better life.

As much as I like it here, I have an automatic escape route - an American passport and an airline ticket. If I didn't, maybe I'd be listening to Tracy with a different set of ears.


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