Amandas and I were on the jeep with the family from Brazil somewhere on Salar de Uyuni. Our driver has been blasting Bolivian music in the car for the past 3 days and we were finding it quite a challenge to appreciate that particular genre. Most of the time, he would groove to his own music while the rest of us in the car would try to find a common topic to talk about. The conversations varied greatly: we spoke about the current political situation in Brazil, we exchanged stories about our lives and we talked about how beautiful the landscape was. One day, we discovered that we could connect our own mobile devices to the speaker in the car and play our own music. So we took turns to play music from our mobile phones. We played many different songs, from the Beatles to Coldplay to popular American club music. Finally, it was my turn and I played music from my iPod. At one point, I played Remioromen songs and it turned out that our driver really liked the song Konayuki.
He didn’t know the lyrics but he just sang to the tune and for the duration of the song, I almost forgot that we didn’t really speak the same language. When the song ended, I attempted a simple conversation with my poor Spanish.
The driver: Me gusta. Muy bien!
Me: Muy bien!
Looking back, it is quite funny how Japanese music, a language that we both did not speak, somehow brought us closer together momentarily. “Music is one language that transcends all culture” – Pharrell Williams.