We traveled to Guilin, Yangshuo, and Chongqing two weeks ago…
But a few days before I traveled to Guilin I was in a taxi talking with the driver about music. On my way to my business English class the topic of what kind of music I liked somehow came up.
Taxi drivers are a strange breed; you can have very annoying experiences with them or pretty entertaining ones. You just never know.
After I told him where I wanted to go he made a comment about my Chinese. That turned into a conversation about me not liking Lady Gaga. I really am not sure how that happened.
When I asked about his music tastes he said he liked Eminem. He asked if I liked “Mei Guo Hip Hop.” I told him I liked some, but not a lot. My brother used to listen to it a lot. I prefer 80s rock, I said. He smiled and said, “Hotel California!” I humored him and agreed, that yes, The Eagles were great.
This carried on for a few more moments until he asked about Chinese music I liked. In truth, I don’t like much (any). I mentioned that I had recently begun learning some of the lyrics to an old Chinese song—“Wo Xiang Qu Guilin” (I want to go to Guilin)—since I was going to be visiting the place at the end of the week. He perked up and laughed when I quoted a few lines from the song.
After a few laughs, and him coaching me on the melody, he and I did a duet. Seriously. We sang the song’s chorus and a few lines after…
Of course he asked me what other songs I knew. I mentioned the, “Yin Wei Ai Qing,” (Because of Love) song and the other one, “Wo zui qinaide,” (My greatest love). These two songs are EVERYWHERE here. Along with Adele, Michael Jackson, and a strange Western boy band called West Life, these are two Chinese songs I hear constantly. I was at a bar one night and the Chinese business men who were hanging out there requested the two Chinese songs to be played—on loop. Really. Anyway…
As soon as I said the Greatest Love song the taxi driver busted out with several lines from the song. “Qin ai de, ni guo de zen me yang?” And he kept going. He serenaded me until we came to a stop at my destination. And what’s really funny—he had a great voice.
As I climbed out of the cab he shook my hand and said, “Zai Jian, Pengyou.” Goodbye, friend.
A few days later, I boarded another plane; this time to beautiful Guilin. I’ll tell you about it soon.
–This is the Guilin Song… Wo Xiang Qu Guilin.
Wo Zui Qin Ai De (My Dearest Love. By Zhuang Hui Mei (Ah-Mei) (This version is not sung by A-Mei. For some reason I CANNOT find a video of her singing it on American internet. Go figure. Usually I use the VPN to access stuff I can’t get on Chinese net. Never thought it’d go the other way.) The original is more beautiful, but this is a good cover….
Yin Wei Ai Qing (Because of Love) By Eason Chan and Faye Wong