Friday, August 10, 2012

"Bye bye!"

Riding the metro is one of my favorite things to do in Paris.  I know, out of all the things to do in Paris, I find riding the metro one of the most entertaining?  It's all the people.  You just can't find a better spot to people watch.  Or a better spot to experience people.  

When I ride the metro, I usually do one of four things: people watch, listen to music, read, or sleep.  Earlier this week I was reading while waiting for my stop.  A young, Asian mother got on the train with her little son and sat down next to me.  I was reading from my Kindle/people watching when her son suddenly took notice of the electronic in my hands.  I tapped the screen to turn the page and ever-so-slightly tilted the screen towards him so he could see it change.  His interest was immediately peeked.  He leaned closer to me and asked,


Granted, I have absolutely no idea what he said, but I love that communication is so much more than words.  

"This is a book.  Umm, libre?  Livre?"

He looked slightly confused at my answer.  His mom attempted clarification,
"Anglais, she speaks English."

That didn't seem to faze his fascination nor cause him any kind of fear.

I tapped my Kindle and moved it closer to him so he could tap the screen, too.  He lit up like a light bulb.  Oh, the small things in life!  He tapped and tapped until the train came to the next stop.  They both got up and his mom said, "Bye bye," and her son echoed her polite, English gesture, "Bye bye!"  I couldn't help but echo it as well, "Bye bye!" 

After they got off the train, and mom was deciding which direction to walk, he turned around and waved happily at me, exclaiming once more as the doors started to close, "Bye bye!"  A connection, an experience, and all we could understand from the other was, "Bye bye."  Language is amazing, and experiencing people, being open to experiencing them, surpasses the ability to speak their language.  Understanding is more than just knowing what the words mean.  Never stop asking questions, never stop being curious, never stop randomly interacting with people on the metro.  I guarantee you'll reap more moments that make you smile than moments that make you frown.       

1 comment:

  1. Très bien. Il était japonais. Il demandé, "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" =)