11.16.2009

A Cabbie Account

Sometimes I use the services of taxicabs to help me get to my audition locations more quickly than mass transit can provide.  Frequently the trips are uneventful.  However, one recent cabbie in particular really caught my attention.

After opening the door for me (which no taxi driver has ever done for me before), inquiring of my destination, observing that I "seem sane" and noting that his previous fare "was mad, but only because of the full moon", I realized the frail-looking, animated driver would make this a ride to remember.  Here, in no particular order, are some of the more salient facts I learned of my rather egotist and unkempt chauffeur en route:
  • He stated matter-of-factly that he is "the best driver in the universe."
  • He spends most of the year in Cambodia.
  • He lives "in a mangrove", not in a "hectic, chaotic city like Bangkok or Hong Kong"
  • He dislikes the hybrid cab he drives because "it's not safe in an accident" and prefers the larger, converted-from-cop-cars vehicles.
  • His father and brother died of cancer due to pollution.
  • He doesn't sleep well in the United States because the full moon here disrupts his "energy".  Instead, he sleeps much better in Asia where the "full moon is further away".
  • It's easier to earn money in the United States than in Cambodia, where he teaches English.
  • A fare he carried the previous evening had been "gypped" by a previous cabbie that same night who dropped them off at the Piano Factory and not in the North End, and as a result he "knew [he] would get no tip".  They were Bulgarians.
It should be noted that about halfway through my six-minute ride, he realized he had forgotten to turn on the meter.
  • He has a cell phone but tries not to use it or touch it.  He doesn't have a television, either.
  • People in the United States should be nicer.  "Not nice like Taiwan or the Japanese, but nicer."
With so much active listening, I felt thoroughly informed and a bit tired by the time I arrived at my destination.

1 comment:

Rhea said...

A fascinating character study. Sometimes you encounter people you would never normally meet and they crack open your world.