When you get in a cab in Mexico, the driver often speaks little English. This was the case with my ride to the airport on Saturday. Usually, when this happens, I just sit in silence and try to enjoy the ride, rather than annoying the driver by subjecting him to my Spanish.
As we were heading through the hotel zone, sitting in heavy traffic, my driver was punching through the radio buttons, trying to find a station that wasn’t blaring Christmas commercials, when he landed on a familiar beat.
We both started a little head bob, then he looked over and enthusiastically asked: “You like Fugees?!”. “Si”, I said. “y Celia Cruz.” That made him smile and he turned up the radio just in time for us to both throw our heads back and sing…
¡Guantanamera! guajira, guantanamera
And then we just laughed for what seemed like five minutes. It was a beautiful, serendipitous, out of tune, thing. Sometimes I forget about this other language we all share and how much better it can be than talking. This was a nice reminder. I smiled all the way to my gate.