held 5 February 2010
"The song on the radio sounds familiar to me," I say to Cristina. "It might be from around 1999 or so." (I say this because it features Romanian-language lyrics, and most Romanian pop today is in English. Plus, there is something distantly familiar about the singers' voices.)
The taxi driver turns his head. "Yes. It is from 1999," he affirms.
"Maybe it's that group Andreea?" I say to him.
"The group was called Andre. With Andreea Antonescu and...." (He snaps his fingers rapidly as he tries to remember.)
"Andreea Banica?" I ask.
"Ah! Andreea Balan."
(He snaps his fingers again.) "That's right! How do you know this?"
"I fell in love with Romanian pop music back in 2000, which is a big part of why I visited Romania in 2001."
"Then maybe you can identify this song," he says, skipping to another track on his CD. It's a dance song with a long instrumental opening.
"Maybe Suie Paparude, or possibly DJ Project?"
The vocals come in.
"Ah. Is it Animal X?"
(He points his index finger in the air.) "Yes. That's incredible. Where are you from?"
"Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America."
(He shakes his head.) "Amazing."