Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fare Thee Well James Gandolfini

So, James Gandolfini is dead.

Ordinarily an American actor's death would mean nothing more for me than a few minutes on the news and I'd be back to whatever I was doing. However, Gandolfini's passing triggered some personal memories.

Kept me company before
I found The Sopranos
No, no, I didn't know "Tony Soprano" personally. However, 5 years ago I moved to Beijing where I was to live for almost a year and the first few weeks were quite lonely because I had just moved into a sparsely furnished apartment with no TV or anything I could pass time with and I had no friends. I bought a used laptop shortly after and one day as I was going home I came across a street vendor with all Six seasons of the Sopranos (which had just wrapped up a few months before). I cannot say I was a fan of the show having only watched a the first few episodes of season one on DSTV around 7 years earlier, but it was the only one he had in English and I was really not looking forward to another night in an empty flat with only Yangjing
beer and some tasty orange coloured chicken from the street vendor round the corner  to keep me company.

Anyway I bought all 6 DVDs and went home to watch them. For the next few weeks I watched 2 or 3 episodes per day (initially I was stretching it until I found a supplier of other English language DVDs) and before long Tony, Carmela, Meadow, Junior, Chris, Silvio, Paulie and all the other characters became close acquaintances.

So that's why Gandolfini's death brought back all those memories of those first few weeks in an empty Beijing flat with only The Sopranos to keep me company.

RIP Tony Soprano you made this Ugandan's life a lot less dull