Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We get crazies here in Paris, too

I was riding the Metro to work today and as we started to pull out of a station early on in my commute, I heard singing. This is nothing new, of course. Panhandlers frequently ask for money in exchange for unsolicited performances, but they rarely sing about...Jesus?

I looked up and, instead of seeing a shabbily dressed woman standing commandingly in front of one of the doors, I saw a shabbily dressed woman sitting unobtrusively on one of the fold-out seats, loudly singing in French about Jesus to no one in particular. In between songs, she'd give a little rap about how neither she nor God were racist and how, together, they loved everyone. To illustrate this she'd occasionally administer God's blessing to innocent bystanders. She clearly wasn't in this for money.

This continued for ten minutes or so until a cell phone rang (cell phones generally work in the Paris Metro). Her cell phone. She stopped mid-high note and answered. Rough translation/transcription of her conversation:

"Hello? Ah!, I'm in the Metro. No, I didn't hear about that! No! No, she didn't! OK, well, I'll be right there. In a few minutes. Calm down. OK. Bye."

She hung up, but the phone back in her bag, rapped a bit about how Jesus also loves the person who just called her on the phone and how she and Jesus both hoped that that person's problems were not as bad as she'd presented them in that conversation, whereupon she began singing again. A few stops later, she got off the train.

As we pulled away, I looked out the window and saw her walking happily down the platform, singing about Jesus all the way.


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