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Baba Fats


Location: Philly, Pa
Country: US


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Ever get into a conversation where neither of you knew what the other was talking about?

user image 2012-06-18
By: Baba Fats
Posted in:

As dirty a place as the city is, I love it. There are all kinds of different people around you. People from all over the world.

My neighbor across the street, for example, is off the boat from China. He is the oddest character I've ever seen. he paints his concrete steps all different colours multiple times a year. He pees into a bucket outside and uses it to water his plants. (He grows the best vegetable garden I've even see, so he must know what he's doing). He'll paint sections of his house, but never the whole thing, so it always looks patchy.

And he doesn't speak a word of english. Well, not enough to put together half a sentence.

I was playing my ukulele outside today, and He come rolling up to his house, like normal, with a shopping cart and random stuff in it. Today it was an old TV. I've talked to him before, which usually consists of him speaking Chinese (not sure what dialect), and broken english. I think the only thing he knows how to say is "#1", "ok", and a few state names.

So he walked up to me and "asked" to play my uke. He proceeded to strum it and randomly sing his do-re-me's. This wasn't the first time we've done this. But something odd happened today...

We got talking about politics. Nothing in depth. But he started telling my all of the places he has been in the US, including LA, Jersey, New York, Virginia, and somewhere in the middle, I think Arkansas. He then started to talk to me about Mao Zedong. It really only consisted of him saying "bad man". But none the less, I managed to get into a conversation with someone about politics when neither of us knew what the other was saying. It was uncanny.

I helped him drag the TV into his house, and he gave me some unsweetened green tea. It was a bit rancid, but green tea without sugar is pretty bitter. And some strange dried fruits that were pretty good. I have no idea what they are or how to ask. They weren't sweet like most dry fruit, but good nonetheless.

Anyway... I was wondering if anyone else out there has ever just sat and talk to someone who doesn't speak your language for a while? It's worth doing. Never be discouraged or impatient with someone because they don't understand you, or you them. I'm sure this guy could instantly tell I had no idea what he was saying, but it didn't stop him from rambling on and on like we'd been friends for years.

06/19/12 05:23:34PM @blasphemyblack:

its strange the extremes of reaction you can get jus from lookin a little different!!

Baba Fats
06/19/12 04:05:16PM @baba-fats:

I was like that in high school. I wore all black, black nailpolish and eyeliner. a purple mohawk, and locks at one point. I wore spikes and chains and straps. I had gauged ears and multiple facial piercings, and I wore a black leather trench coat. I was the only kid in school who looked like that. So when I was a senior, all the new freshmen thought I was going to shoot up the school, but every teacher stood up for me saying how harmless I was. But so many people would avoid even looking at me. And I wasn't even from a small town.

06/19/12 03:51:02PM @blasphemyblack:

its fair play really . i duno i get it alot jus with my dyed hair etc some poeple look at me like im gona sacrifice their first born etc, but then i get middle aged women, mums, grannies asking me, specificly me for help!! there are tons of staff where i work but they like me!! it freaks me out sometimes!!

see its all about peace and love!!

isnt that the whole ethos of dreads???

might not be there physicaly but my mind already works that way!!

Baba Fats
06/19/12 03:44:03PM @baba-fats:

That makes sense. Some people don't understand that we're friendly. I guess many people have met some lockheads who have been confrontational, either about their locks or vegans/vegetarians, or whathaveyou.

06/19/12 03:41:35PM @blasphemyblack:

maybe looking unconventional or different (how ever you would like to word it) makes us more approachable to others who are also slightly different..........

Baba Fats
06/18/12 08:46:37PM @baba-fats:

Who knows. There's a really friend african (not sure what country he's from. I know Northern africa) guy that lives nextdoor that guy I was talking to. I haven't gotten into such dialogues with him, but he always makes it a point to stop and say hi to me when I'm walking around or sitting out front

06/18/12 06:43:23PM @blasphemyblack:

i get this all the time in the shop i work in. maybe i jus have one of 'those faces' but anyone who wants to play ' guess the garment charades' aims for me!!

i have an old chinese (i think) lady who always finds me. all she really says is 'i know u' and 'this nice' and 'my size' which is strangely funny cause in 'london rude boi talk'my size means my type, ur hot kinda thing.

some how i manage to tlk to her for ages.... maybe its a chinese thing??

☮ soaring eagle ॐ
06/18/12 04:23:45PM @soaring-eagle:

ll the time i always have ppl trty talking to nme who dont soeak english

but this sorta reminded me of an old very drunk bluesman that hung out at the lots of love gsrdens

we called him "cheif whataworld" cause he cakled everyone cheif and would randomly yell out "what a world'" and he did about 20 versions of a blues song the chorus was always tye same what a world

he was usualy too drunk to understand except for his trademark what a world's with his arms waving in the air for emphasis

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