The Picaro Anecdotes Part 2
The Children Hospital Encounter:
I have been playing quite a few times near the Children Hospital. I felt like I was helping there by bringing a smile on the nurse’s face between shifts. Giving them hope in life would probably help them saving it.
One day, a woman passed by. She stopped, walked away slowly, then she turned around and went back to where she came from. This is not uncommon attitude, and I wouldn’t have noticed her if it wasn’t for the emotional intensity that was going through her eyes and posture. She first passed with a heavy burden in her chest, seemed like she dropped it behind me, turned around a went back driven by an idea.
A few minutes later, she came back pushing a young girl in a wheelchair. The girls must have been around 12. She had a tub coming out of her nose, she seemed blind with almost no hair left. I believe she was going through chemo. The mother brought her close to me so she could ear the music best and started to describe her what I was doing and how.
I felt such a big range of emotion. The bound between this mother and her child was affecting me in a deep way. I had trouble playing my songs. I played them songs from the Jungle Book and Could You Be Love from Bob Marley. After what I gave the girl a CD for listening so well and asked her some questions about her life at the hospital. We talked like that for a bit. But the girl started to feel sick so the mother brought her back.
Two months later, I met the girl again. I was busking in pacific square. She was out with her entire family and she was walking. She seemed to have regained her sight and she had colours on her face. She still had the tube coming out of her nose but she seemed to be doing a hell lot better. I found out she had two siblings and got to meet the dad. She told me she loved my CD but I couldn’t care less. I was already so happy to see her walk.
So I played the family something upbeat and they danced all together. In the middle of the street. I felt so unreal for joy was overwhelming.
I wonder if I’ll ever meet them again.
The Belgrade Bus Concert
Do I love Serbia! At a wedding there, I got strapped to a pole inside a bus with my amp pushed to the maximum. I was to play for the guests from Belgrade’s city centre to the church. We got drunk and sung while slaloming through streets and traffic. It somehow felt completely natural but when I look back at it. What a crazy show that was.
The Thai Mountain Hidden Party
In the North of Thailand, where mountains are covered with rainforest. My dad and I stopped for a couple night in a small village. I cannot remember its name. I do remember the beautiful central place surrounding the most lovely pound. However, we decided to go for a full immersion in the Thai culture. At the entrance of the village was a coffee shop where we’d stop earlier that day. Inside was working a charming lady who was the only local we met who could speak English. So we asked her where to go out.
She said: -The American, very good restaurant for tourists.
She obviously didn’t understand that we did not want to go to a touristic venue. And it took a while for her to understand that we wanted to go to a bar for locals. Long like 20minutes of explaining. She could not understand that we European wanted to go where the Thai would go. Why would we want to know about them? They have some concepts that I do not fully grasp.
An hour later, we found the bar. And it was really cool. Everyone inside was just very curious to know what we could be doing here. And so we ended up drinking with everyone at the bar. Everyone wanted to know about us and they also wanted to tell us about themselves. We drunk with a police officer, two programmers, a teacher, a soon-to-be monk enjoying one of her last night out and many more. There was a musician entertaining us. At a point my dad gave him some signs that I also was playing guitar. The musician gave me the stage right away and accompanied me on the cajon.
Thai really know how to pull up a party for everybody in the bar was drinking with everyone and singing and laughing. I think it was really something. Like one of my best night out ever.
The Montreal Gospel Evangel
As I was working for the red cross in Montreal. I got to meet with three young christian from an Evangelic Church. They invited to come over. We exchanged number, next Sunday morning, I was on the subway heading to Villa-Maria station where my new met friends picked me up.
I rarely felt so white in my life for I was the only white person. The church was packed with about 400 people from all over the globe. My new met friends introduced me to everyone. I had to shake and try to remember names by dozen. I felt like way out of place. I wasn’t even baptized and yet I was in this church full of hard believers. I thought: I should go away. But my new-met-friends were confident that I was here welcome. So I sat down and listened.
It was all right. The reverent was a clever man. He used biblical stories as metaphors and was making some very interesting points. I liked him. And then we started to sing. A full band was playing and the priors where projected over the hotel in a karaoke way. And boy did we sing. For two hours singing about Jesus in a gospel way that gave me a constant shiver.
I kept coming back to the church until I moved to Australia. Many stories happened there. I am still not a believer but I do believe in spirituality. I think that we are more than just molecules and shit. I believe we need spirituality to achieve greater version of ourselves. Life is not just about money, power and science It’s about something greater that we can never fully grasp. And in this church, I got served with as much spirituality as I could ask for and even more.
I miss my friends from the church. I know I’ll go back as soon as I go back to Montreal.