Sunday, November 17, 2002

I was thinking about a couple of things tonight. First, it seems like I need some kind of textual mediation when learning a new place. For example, when I first moved here, I would walk around and make notes, like "This stuff is on 14th avenue: bagel place, record store, etc." It's difficult for me to just learn a place, with just the place and my mind--nothing in between. The other thing is, I really like singing songs in other languages. Tonight I was in my car singing "La Bamba" by Los Lobos pretty loudly. Other songs I like to sing are "99 Luftballoons" by Nena and "Sinds en dag ov twee" and "Nederwiet" by Doe Maar. I went to a conference at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology a while back, and a Dutch man found it pretty entertaining to hear me sing Doe Maar songs in Dutch. I'm sure many people find it offensive to hear their languages mimicked, like a bird does. I don't know how I'd react to hearing songs in English mimicked, but it's not the same kind of power dynamic: I speak the global superpower conqueror's tongue. Maybe I should stop singing along with songs in languages I don't know.