jueves, 22 de noviembre de 2007

The underground train/ El subterráneo


The most amazing people can be seen when one travels everyday in the underground train in Buenos Aires. There are those selling anything from hair-bands to flashlights, passing through an assortment of the most varied items (pens, stickers, note-books, maps of the city, cookies... you name it, you have it).

One can also see the young adolescents who automatically look the other way whenever a pregnant woman, elderly or handicapped person steps on to the train... they suddenly become too busy with their i-pods, listening to their music and wondering, "Where shall I hang out tonight?", too busy to care enough for others around them.

There are also those who make of stealing their way of living... but there is also always the one who will shout out, "Watch your belongings! Thieves on board!", acting bravely? and aiming at scaring them and making them get off at the following station, many times achieving the aim. Sorry about those on the folowing train, as they might not get so lucky.

There are those two guys, from a theatre group, who walk along the wagons, sharing jokes and making people participate of their "show", in hope of bringing a smile to their otherwise troubled and stressed faces. I never fail to have a good laugh when I see them, even if I have already heard the same jokes a thousand times, because they are funny and positively make my day! At least that is their intention, and they very well pull it through with me!

And there is also this very, very old man. Lots maybe think that he is homeless, and he might very well be... I don´t know. All I know about him is that he is a poet, and walks along each wagon, slowly moving forward among the herds of people going to and from work, offering those well-mannered enough to accept his booklet of writings. And those, like me, who have had the decency of accepting it, have been shocked to see what beautiful poems he has written. I have already bought all of his productions, and like so many others, I await his presence in my train, hoping he will turn up with something new to sell.

In a way, I feel sorry for him, an old man having to make a living this way, when he has written some famous plays in his youth. And I am also proud of such a character, as he is strong enough to go out selling his writings, with his head as high as his old age permits him to, instead of begging on the streets or staying at home (does he have one?) wasting his life away.


Todo tipo de gente puede ser vista en el subte por los que cada día del año viajamos en él en la ciudad de Buenos Aires. Están los famosos vendedores ambulantes, que te venden desde unas banditas para el pelo hasta linternas, pasando por la más amplia variedad de productos (biromes, anotadores, stickers, mapas de la ciudad, galletitas... pedilo y lo tenés).

Uno también puede encontrarse con esos egoístas adolescentes, que al ver que sube al tren una embarazada, anciano o discapacitado, de pronto se vuelven ocupados con sus i-pods, interesados sólo en su música y preguntándose, "¿Dónde saldremos hoy con los chicos?", demasiado engrosados en su propio mundo como para interesarse en lo que ocurre a su alrededor.

Están también los "cacos" que hacen su día robando en el tren... y están también aquellos que, como yo, al reconocerlos, gritamos, "¡Cuidado con los chorros! ¡Cuiden sus pertenencias!", actuando ¿valientemente? y apuntando a asustarlos, lo cual muchas veces conseguimos, haciendo que se bajen en la siguiente estación con las manos vacías. Lástima por los que suben en el próximo tren... quizás no corran la misma suerte.

Están también estos dos tipos, jóvenes, del grupo de Teatro Ambulante Itinerante, quienes caminan por los diferentes vagones, haciendo bromas y pidiéndole a la gente que participe de su "show", esperando poder arrancarle una sonrisa a las grandes cantidades de personas que viajamos todos los días, algunos estresados y preocupados en demasía. Siempre me mato de la risa con ellos, aunque ya he escuchado sus mismas bromas infinidad de veces, porque sé que están ahí para divertirnos un rato, son graciosos y me hacen mucho bien!
Y también está este hombre viejito. Muchos pueden llegar a considerarlo un hombre de la calle, por su aspecto desgarbado y mal aliñeado, y quizás lo sea... eso no lo sé. Todo lo que sé de él es que es un poeta, un escritor, y que camina por lo diferentes vagones, moviéndose lentamente por entre las personas que van y vienen del trabajo, ofreciendo a aquellos lo suficientemente educados para tomarlos, unos panfletos con sus escritos. Y aquellos que, como yo, hemos tenido la decencia de aceptarlos, hemos descubierto con asombro los hermosos poemas que ha escrito este buen señor. Ya he comprado todas sus producciones, y como tantos otros, espero verlo en el subte cuando viajo, deseando que aparezca con algo nuevo para vender.
En cierta forma, siento pena por él, un hombre tan mayor debiendo vivir de esta manera, cuando ha escrito varias obras teatrales que fueron famosas en su época de juventud. Y también estoy orgullosa de él, ya que es lo suficientemente fuerte para salir a vender lo que ha escrito, con su cabeza tan alta como su edad le permite, en lugar de estar mendigando por las calles o quedándose en su casa (¿tiene hogar este hombre?), viendo como su vida se le va de entre las manos.

11 comentarios:

Nina dijo...

La verdad que en esta sociedad en la nos toca vivir no es agradable en su mayor aspecto, la gente perdio todo el respeto hacia sus pares, y cuando la semana pasada viaje a las 8:00 de la mañana en el tren y estaba repleto, todos empujaban, no les importaba si habia señoras embarazadas, niños, ancianos y demas, no podia creer lo que cambio el pais, en tan poco tiempo, y lo mas triste es que nuestros hijos van a ser los que padescan de esta decadencia,.
Besos

Jeannie dijo...

Niiinaaaa!!! Siempre ahí presente!! Y es verdad, esta sociedad, como todas ne casi todo el mundo, se han vuelto totalmente impersonales y egoístas... será por eso que nos duele tanto a las personas sensibles ver tanta injusticia?
te quiero muuucho!

krena dijo...

There is such a richness and variety to life on public transportation in a big city. All those people and their stories concentrated in one tiny place and time -- it' almost overwhelming to think about. I loved being in New York because the place just felt alive. St. Louis is sleepy. Most people drive private automobiles and try to insulate themselves from people they deem different. Many people here think I'm strange because I choose to travel by bicycle, bus, and train whenever I can. In St. Louis, public transportation is perceived of as being for poor people.

Jeannie dijo...

Krena... that is exactly what I feel! So many different people travel by train and the underground every working day in their lives, each one of them with their own life story. While travelling to and from work is when I get my best ideas to write on!!! Just looking at these people's faces and wondering about their lives has inspired me neough... so I have written two novels and quite some poems...
Hope you have a wonderful Sunday! And thank you for dropping by!

Dks dijo...

Hi Dearest Jeannie!
It had been a while since I had visited your blog and decided to come here today to leave another one of my "footprints" and how pleased I am that I did!
What wonderful writing Jeannie!
Your words are so powerful and descriptive that I can even smell the pungent whiff of the underground! You write from the heart and soul and it shows in every sentence!! Really Wonderful!
Muchos Besos Dear Friend!!! and have a great hockey night!!

Jeannie dijo...

Hi Donnie!!!! As usual it is a pleasure to read your words of encouragement on what I write. One thing is for sure: I do write with the heart, and I guess that is what makes my writings pure and honest. =)
love you lots, my dearest friend!!!

dave_cybercoolie dijo...

when we travel our paths cross so many others' - and so many others' path cross others... someone, somewhere, strums a string of our life... like the old man did - in yours - and in many others lives....

keep writing :-)
and Happy Journey - as you journey through your life......

Jeannie dijo...

Thank you so much for reading what I have to say, as well as for your wonderful comment!!!!!

Elaine dijo...

Dear Jean,
the underground train is one of my favorites! I simply love it. Watching people behavior and trying to be in their shoes. I like the old guy selling his poetry in the train. I most probably would buy some of his books as well.
lovex

Jean dijo...

Hi Elaine! First Thank You for dropping by and making a comment!!!
and secondly, I also love watching people's faces and try to get into their shoes, wonderinh what they must be thinking, where they could be going, who they live with... and many times I find I get so carried away, that I get my pen and notebook and start making up stories on them!!!!
Hugs, dear!!!

Uriel Salvador dijo...

Hola

me gusto mucho lo que escribiste, tienes mucha razon en como nosotros a veces miramos sin querer darnos cuenta de la realidad de los demas. Eres muy buena escirbiendo, me gusto mucho tu blog. Ojala algun dia te des una vuelta por el mio. Saludos