Those Love Songs We’ve Sung Together chapter 1

Blue Lotus

 

Jiang Bai stepped out of the subway with his guitar on his back and climbed the steps to the upper platform, with Sarah Brightman’s extremely ethereal voice in his headphones.

 

On the old platforms of the Paris metro, there were artists playing accordions and singing unknown songs with cheerful tunes, which combined with the soft music in Jiang Bai’s headphones to form unbearable, messy murmurs.

 

Jiang Bai frowned, took off his headphones and turned off the phone’s music player.

 

Immediately afterwards, he looked up at the crowds coming and going from all directions around him, as well as the forked area of the upper platform, and was a bit confused. So he held his phone up again, found WeChat, and confirmed the location Fang Yuan had sent him.

 

After looking at the navigation map for a long time, Jiang Bai decided he needed to have the awareness of being a roadie.

 

“I’m at Chatelet station, which exit do I take?”

 

He sent a voice message to Fang Yuan, stood still and waited for a reply, and listened with interest to the accordion playing of a street performer.

 

It was a very fast-paced ditty, with a little twang at the end of each line, sounding like a bonfire party on a tropical island beach with everyone wearing grass skirts. Street performers with beards, fluffy curly hair in the back of the head tied a small seizure, shaking their heads with the music.

 

Listening, Jiang Bai’s toes began to unconsciously move with the rhythm of the song.

 

At the end of the song, he walked up and dropped a fifty-cent coin in the street performer’s open case, smiling in his still-unskilled French: “This song is very pleasant!”

 

The street performer politely replied, “Thank you for your support!”

 

Jiang Bai wanted to say something else, but before he could organize his words, his phone rang with the sound of a message being delivered, and it was Fang Yuan’s voice message coming in.

 

“Why did you go to Chatelet Station? There are eight subway lines there, I’m afraid there’s dozens of exits my God! Why didn’t you get off at the ninth bridge station?”

 

“The navigation said Chatelet station.” Jiang Bai replied.

 

“You can take the seventh line to the ninth bridge station, or find a random exit at Chatelet and navigate from the ground. The bar is between the two stations, and it’s not far from either.”

 

“Okay.”

 

Jiang Bai put his phone back into his pocket, stepped along with the rhythm of the accordion soundtrack and the street performers’ songs that were playing once more, and headed for one of the exit signs closest to him.

 

Located on the north bank of the Seine, the Chatelet train station is a transportation hub near the island of Sidi, and is also one of the important business districts of Paris. Eight subway lines converge the radiate outward, forming a dense spider web that envelops the entire Little Paris.

 

It is said that when one stands on any point in Little Paris, they can find a subway station within a 500-meter radius around them, and then be able to go to any place they wanted to go with the help of Paris’ well-connected rail transportation.

 

Jiang Bai, however, felt that he wouldn’t panic if he was in the hands of the navigation of his phone.

 

After all, even if the rail transit here is well-connected, the alleys in Paris will still make one dizzy.

 

In particular, the roads here are not like Beijing, where Jiang Bai lived since childhood. The roads in Paris were very arbitrary, The intersection saying that the southeast, northwest and more are completely inadequate, because the places were densely packed with large and small ring-shaped squares, and the roads intertwined with each other, the city cut into fragmented and Irregular small pieces.

 

For example, the Arc de Triomphe square, around the middle of the world-famous stone arch around a circle, has a total of twelve intersections extended. Without the aid of modern technology, if you ask someone for directions, you’ll hear the words you used to hear in the movies, such as “at your ten o’clock”.

 

Fortunately, the road junction where Jiang Bai was at isn’t that complicated. He followed his phone’s navigation shortly and found the bar with a wooden sign that read “No. 6 Little Jasmine Road”.

 

 

“Ah, Xiao Bai has arrived!”

 

Fang Yuan was sitting facing the door of the bar, and when he saw Jiang Bai pushing the door in, he immediately got up.

 

An older Chinese boy and a French girl sitting across from him turned around at the same time and greeted Jiang Bai: “Good evening!”

 

Fang Yuan pulled the two together and introduced them, “This is Jiang Bai, we were in the same French training class in China. Jiang Bai, this is Chen Lijie, one of my friends, he’s been in France for five years, he studied Chinese, English and French translation, he’s a top student! This is Silvia, Chen Lijie’s girlfriend, who has been studying Chinese for two years. This bar is run by both of them, and the Sino-French salon was also their idea.”

 

Jiang Bai greeted the two.

 

Chen Lijie pointed to the guitar behind Jiang Bai and asked, “Do you still play music?”

 

Jiang Bai shook his head and laughed: “Today’s language class is on the topic of music, and the teacher asked those who know how to play instruments to bring them. I usually just play at home.”

 

Chen Lijie: “Hey, you can also sing, ah! It just so happens that our store is not open to the public tonight for the Sino-French Salon, you can try singing a song on the small stage.”

 

Jiang Bai had long been itching to see the small stage in the bar, and now that he had the bar owner’s permission, he didn’t push back and went up with his guitar in his arms.

 

Chen Lijie helped him set up the microphone and sound.

 

“What do you want to hear?” Jiang Bai asked.

 

“Heh! You can still order songs here?” Chen Lijie laughed, “Just one song you’re good at.”

 

Fang Yuan interjected with a bottle of beer in his mouth, “The Blue Lotus you sang that time is quite good, let’s go with that.”

 

Jiang Bai nodded, brewing for a moment, a sweep of the strings, resounding open.

 

“Nothing can stop you, in your yearning for freedom—”

 

His voice was not too heavy nor with vicissitudes, like the tone of a cello, and like black velvet, deep but soft. Interspersed with the chords of the classical guitar, it surprisingly created an extremely harmonious resonance.

 

The door of the bar opened silently at that moment, but the three listeners inside were all attracted by Jiang Bai’s song and did not notice the person who came in through the door.

 

The man closed the bar door with his backhand, leaned against the bar, and looked at the big boy singing with a guitar in his arms on the small stage.

 

Jiang Bai, who was singing, saw a figure next to the bar and subconsciously turned his head to look over.

 

It was a French man wearing a black shirt, with the collar open to the second button and the sleeves rolled casually to the elbow. His slightly curly dark brown hair hung in front of his eyes, looking disheveled, with a neatly trimmed layer of very short stubble around his cheeks, and a slightly unpleasant evil smile at the corner of his mouth, looking unrestrained.

 

Jiang Bai has never been good at judging the age of Westerners, and seeing such an appearance, he sighed in his heart: what a sexy and handsome uncle!

 

After this thought, Jiang Bai winked and smiled at the handsome uncle with an alluring temperament.

 

“Blooming, the flower that never wilts, blue lotus flower—”

 

 

The music stopped, and the handsome French uncle straightened up from the bar and clapped.

 

Silvia looked back, surprised, “Ya Bu! You’re back!”

 

Even Chen Lijie stood up from the couch and greeted the visitor: “Hey, man!”

 

Ya Bu saluted Silvio and Chen Lijie, shook hands with Fang Yuan, and looked at Jiang Bai: “This is?”

 

“Hello, my name is Jiang Bai.”

 

Jiang Bai carried his guitar in one hand and extended the other to shake hands with Ya Bu.

 

“Jean-Baptiste Dupont.” Ya Bu smiled, “You can call me Ya Bu like they do. Of course, I also know that this abbreviation has a strange meaning in Chinese, if you don’t mind.” (Note) *the author put that here, you can read their note at the end of the chapter

 

Jiang Bai was stunned, then it occurred to him that this Uncle Ya Bu was probably also here for the Sino-French Salon and should have learned Chinese.

 

“Ahem, actually, my initials are those two letters as well.” He immediately laughed at himself, trying to use this to bring the two closer together.

 

Ya Bu paused for a moment and laughed out loud.

 

Chen Lijie also laughed for a long time, and at the end introduced the man, “This is Silvia’s brother, the third partner of the bar, and the one who has the most money! He just started to learn Chinese not long ago, and he is basically the one who contacted all the French people for our salon.”

 

Ya Bu didn’t understand much of this sentence, but he probably caught the description of “learning Chinese” and greeted Jiang Bai with a tilted head in Chinese: “Hello!”

 

Jiang Bai smiled and replied, “Hello.”

 

Ya Bu then switched to French: “I know the song you just sang, but it’s the French version.”

 

Jiang Bai didn’t know that “Blue Lotus” had a French version and stared in surprise.

 

Ya Bu smiled and reached out to point at Jiang Bai’s guitar, “Can I borrow it?”

 

Jiang Bai handed him the guitar.

 

Ya Bu sat down on the stage chair and glanced at the guitar a few times while holding it.

 

The tune of “Blue Lotus” with French lyrics was not even a little bit out of harmony.

 

Ya Bu’s voice is low and thick, with some vicissitudes of hoarse tone, and his pronunciation was very dependent on his throat, which sounded as if it came from his chest. In fact, his voice is not really suitable for singing this song, but he controls his breath and words well, and puts all his emotions into it, so the effect is amazing.

 

At that moment, two Frenchmen pushed the door in and said in surprise, “Oh! What a day it is, that Ya Bu is on stage himself!”

 

Seeing someone enter, Ya Bu stopped singing after only one verse, handed his guitar back to Jiang Bai and went to greet his friends.

 

Chen Lijie came up to Jiang Bai’s ear and said mysteriously: “Ya Bu used to play in a band and was the lead singer in it, but he hasn’t sang in public for many years. You’re good, you came up and even led him to sing a bit!”

 

 

“Ah, I told you, it’s too bad he doesn’t sing anymore!”

 

Jiang Bai was almost charmed by Ya Bu’s voice just now, he had the kind of deep voice that seemed to come from the heart and was matched with just the right amount of hoarseness, if he opened his mouth to sing love songs, he will certainly charm a large number of girls… as well as boys.

 

He thought about it and laughed: “That wasn’t really a public occasion just now, wasn’t it all people he knows?”

 

Chen Lijie nodded: “That’s right.”

 

At seven o’clock, the scheduled time for the Sino-French salon, the small bar was already 80% occupied.

 

The people who came to this salon were Chinese students who had just come to France to study and French people who were learning Chinese. All of them came with the purpose of learning a foreign language, so they weren’t too formal, and they all looked for new friends and chatted with each other. Although it was just “what’s your name” and “how long have you been studying”, they got acquainted with each other.

 

Chen Lijie looked at his watch, put down the drink in his hand, jumped to the small stage and picked up the microphone.

 

“Hey, ladies and gentlemen, our Sino-French exchange salon is about to begin! I’m here to talk about our process, so listen carefully!”

 

“The salon starts at 7:00 and we can only communicate in French between 7:00 and 8:00, and in Chinese between 8:00 and 9:00. If you encounter something you can’t understand, the bar provides small notes and pencils, and you can draw pictures or make hand signals. But if you really can’t, just come and ask me!”

 

“Okay, today, our theme is to introduce ourselves and talk about our interests. And now, the Sino-French Salon officially begins!”

 

Chen Lijie said these words once in French and once in Chinese, then walked off the stage and sat behind the bar.

 

Jiang Bai put his guitar away and stood in the corner next to the bar, looking up at the crowd to find that unruly figure. He had come here today with the intention of practicing his French, but now, it seemed something was trying to break through the ground, tipping him off.

 

“Hey, if you don’t mind, let’s get acquainted?”

 

A familiar male voice rang out behind Jiang Bai.

 

Jiang Bai looked back and saw that it was indeed Ya Bu, and immediately smiled, “No problem.”

 

Ya Bu took out two bottles of beer from the bar and handed one to Jiang Bai: “I’ll treat you to a drink.”

 

Jiang Bai took the beer and smiled, fished out a few coins from his pocket and put them on the bar.

 

Not caring about the fact that he still insisted on paying, Ya Bu casually asked, “How long have you been studying French?”

 

“A year in China, but only weekend classes.” Jiang Bai replied, “I’m now here for a year as a language prep.”

 

What followed was a back-and-forth, “Introduce yourself and your basic information” session, as if it were a household survey. Ya Bu himself studied Chinese, and knew that learning a language for the first time was all about these wheelbarrow-like topics, so he was very cooperative and didn’t ask anything too in-depth.

 

The chat content was not much, but because beginners need to organize their language, they need to bypass some of their own uncertain expressions, and to be corrected by the other side of the word and grammatical errors, the time also dragged past an hour.

 

The next hour, they changed to Chinese, and continued to converse.

 

From their conversation, Jiang Bai learned that Ya Bu had just celebrated his 33rd birthday, and was ten years older than himself. He was originally an architect, but after working for a multinational company for a few years, he felt that it did not meet his expectations for his lifestyle and quit his job. Currently, in addition to opening this small bar, Ya Bu travels around the world, living a life of freedom and liberty.

 

Jiang Bai admired this attitude towards life, and the little buds in his heart arched upward again, and he began to look forward to the relationship between the two moving forward.

 

 

It’s just… although France is a country where you can live and die for romance, if two people want to really develop something, they have to consider feelings.

 

If you feel right and fall in love at first sight, you’ll be good for even ten thousand years. If you feel wrong, even if you were stubborn, the result will not be good.

 

Moreover, Jiang Bai knows that there is a more serious problem in his dating path—sexual orientation.

 

However, this issue is too private, the first meeting is certainly not a good time to ask the other.

 

So Jiang Bai could only maintain a polite smile, patiently listening to the broken Chinese of the man in front of him who had poked his heart the first time he saw him. It was not until the end of the fixed time of the Sino-French salon that he finally breathed a sigh of relief.

 

Ya Bu was relieved too and immediately switched to French: “Your French is much better than my Chinese.”

 

“After all, I’ve studied almost a year more than you have learned Chinese.” Jiang Bai wasn’t modest either and said bluntly, “You’ll speak it well in the future too.”

 

The hands of the clock slipped past nine o’clock, and for the city of Paris, people’s night life was just beginning at this moment.

 

Although the time for the Sino-French salon was over, many people still chose to stay here and continue chatting with their new friends, not sticking to any language, mixing Chinese and French, and occasionally, when they really couldn’t understand the explanation, they would say a few sentences in English.

 

Ya Bu sat at the bar, and Chen Lijie brought him a martini.

 

“That French version of ‘Blue Lotus’ just now, do you want to learn it?” Ya Bu took a sip of wine and asked Jiang Bai with a sideways glance.

 

In fact, Jiang Bai originally planned to go home and learn the lyrics from the Internet, but now he had the opportunity to get closer to Ya Bu, so why not do it?

 

So he smiled and said, “Sure, I can teach you to sing the Chinese version too.”

 

The two of them hit it off immediately.

 

Jiang Bai took out his guitar from the corner of the bar, found the innermost booth in the bar with Ya Bu, and went to learn songs from each other.

 


The author has something to say:

Note: 让-巴蒂斯特’s French spelling is Jean-Baptiste, which will be directly called “JB” among French acquaintances and transliterated as “雅布/Ya Bu”.

Blue Lotus French Version: 弗雷德乐队·《Pas Comme Ca》

_(:з」∠)_This article originally had a tweet link, but recently it has been inexplicably marked with black and red locking several chapters to write a link, so I won’t put the link. If you are curious about the song, copy the song title and search by yourself.

 

TL Note:

Listen here for the song that Jiang Bai sang. And listen here for the French version that Ya Bu sang, the one the author mentioned! You can also listen to them on the TLSWST Playlist I made on YouTube, which compiles all the songs mentioned in the story.

Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Ya Bu’s name in French, is 让-巴蒂斯特·杜彭 in Chinese~

I’m sure you’ve noticed already, but I’ll still add it to the TL note: the salon mentioned here is a salon event, it’s a weekly or monthly social event where people amuse and learn together through conversation.

 

New project! This is only a short story~

Also, my computer broke so I’m doing the translations on my phone. Thus, uploading the chapters might take longer, so as an apology I posted 3 chapters in advance. The rest will hopefully be updated all together soon. Thank you for your patience.~


Those Love Songs We’ve Sung Together

Those Love Songs We’ve Sung Together

那些我们一起唱过的情歌
Score 8.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2018 Native Language: Chinese
Jiang Bai (江白) was sitting in a bar owned by a friend of his classmate and was singing with his guitar.When he looked up, he suddenly saw a handsome uncle leaning on the bar, looking towards him.Jiang Bai threw a wink over, and Ya Bu (雅布) felt as if his heart had been hit by an arrow.“Hey you, this song… I can also sing it…”

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset