MY POINT OF VIEW #10 (By Tatiana Sisquella)
The other day I was walking along one of Barcelona’s many crowded streets. More specifically, I was coming out of my regular workplace in the Plaça Francesc Macià and I was going to the next street down to get my car…Yes, I know that in a city like Barcelona I should use public transport to get around because it’s more sustainable and all the rest of it, but that´s another subject…
We had had a pretty good day at work that day: a good atmosphere, lots of giggles all round, not much work to do .…in fact, it had been one of those rare days when going to work doesn’t seem like an obligation. So there I was, walking out into the street wrapped in a sort of patina of good will to all men, with a smile on my lips and much more of a spring in my step than is usual for me, and suddenly, out of nowhere, an almost imperceptible sound came out of my mouth.
This sound came from deep inside me, like an atavistic drum-beat from far within that was clamouring to get out and fly free over the tarmac of the city streets. It was a breath of air that, as it advanced, became deeper and deeper, stronger and stronger, and longer and longer, until it became (and this is what I was leading up to) a whistle.
Yes, that´s right, a whistle. In other words, what happens when we purse our lips to form a tiny circle with the front part of the mouth and breathe out air which we then accompany with the tongue right up to the exit door of the mouth. When this air collides with the lips it gives off a sound which, thanks to the genius of the human being, we can modulate at will and only need a minimum of skill to convert into a sound that is very close to what might be termed as music.
So there I was, then, whistling in the street some song that my subconscious must have stored away due to God knows which childhood trauma, when I realized that NOBODY WHISTLES IN THE STREET ANY MORE!!
Why not? Where are the men who, with their hands in their pockets and walking slowly and to nowhere in particular, used to whistle traditional melodies, pasodobles, popular songs or any other tune that passed through their heads? Are they all dead? Or, thinking of all those municipal regulations which we still can’t quite get used to, and by which the City Council prohibits doing practically everything under the Sun under pain of being given fines which you have to take out a second mortgage to pay for, could it be that all these regulations also prohibit whistling in the streets? What is happening to the human race if an adorable, sincere, humble and contagious habit like whistling has been supplanted by men and women who, rather than producing any sound at all while they are crossing the street, disappear and cease to exist behind their headphones or mobile telephones? Why doesn’t anybody whistle any more in my home city?
Think about it for a moment…
O.K., stop, because thinking too much makes you tired…
Whistling can only bring good things: very often it’s a sign that you’re happy; by whistling you show this to other people; maybe those other people find your whistling a reason to be a little happier, and in this way will maybe start whistling themselves. Suddenly Barcelona becomes a handful of streets flooded by a veritable sea of tunes, making up a penetrating and uncoordinated but truly marvellous mixture that turns it into a magical city, full of the sounds and wonder of the circus.
This is why on this humble page I should like to make a few proposals:
1. I propose the immediate creation of the Whistle Free Association, with the slogan “If you whistle, they’ll whistle too”.
2. If you see somebody whistling in the street, go up to them and whistle the chorus from “The Bridge over the River Kwai”. If the other person answers you by whistling a fragment to the tune of “Always look on the bright side of life”, this could be the beginning of a long friendship.
3. If you feel like whistling, do so, you’ll soon see how much better you feel.
Question: Why Barcelona?
Answer: Because if you listen, the city will whisper a song into your ear.