As I depend on others to carry me across a new city in a new country, I oscillate between mistrust, overapologizing, feeling hopelessly confused, and—every once in a whilememorable connections.

“Hello, how are you doing today? How is your family? Yes, it does look like rain. I was wondering if you might, by chance, have the time to pick me up?”

After five minutes of trying to explain my location: “I’m going to pass the phone to someone else who knows where we are.”

“When you said you were coming in the next fifteen minutes, I assumed you meant twenty minutes, not forty”

“You were waiting for me? Oh I’m sorry! You did come ten minutes early and I didn’t knowI wish you would have called me when you got here.”

***

“Yes, I know many people in this neighborhooduncles, older cousins, whatnot. I am certainly not all by my lonesome.”

“And I’m married. Vey married. Why don’t I have a ring? You know, I would love to hear more about your family.”

“Wait…if you’re the taxi driver I called and I’m inside your taxi, why is your number calling me now? … Oh, it was a butt dial. No, I definitely did not think I had walked into the wrong taxi and was being kidnapped.”

“What color is my house? It’s wh—actually, you don’t need to take me to my house. I’ll get out at the corner.”

“Do I dare ask why you have a decal sticker of the Confederate flag on your car?”

“No, you need to take a right where the soups are. The soups on the boulevard. You know what I’m talking about, right? Because I’m not sure I know what I’m talking about.”

“Where am I coming from? Well, I was helping a friend and we got caught in the rain, but she doesn’t have time to bring me home and I have an event tomorrow, so that’s why I’m traveling at this hour. That’s probably more information than you were looking for.”

“Please, if it’s not a bother, would you please consider taking me a block and a half further down the road? I sincerely apologize for inconveniencing you.”

“It’s my fault. My directions were confusing. I only mentioned the restaurant so you could get a mental map of where I wanted to go. I’m actually headed to the intersection where there’s a tall tree next to a pharmacy. Yes, that treeperfect.”

***

“Oh sorry, did I wake you up when I called?”

“Thanks for sending me your new number. How are you doing after the robbery?”

“That tree—the one we just passed with the heart-shaped leaves next to the school. Do you know what type of tree it is?”

“They found your niece! I’m so relieved!”

“What is it like to be the only woman taxi driver in the fleet?”

“When were you deported from the US?”

“What has life been like since?”

“I read that the city’s taxi drivers are going on strike. Will you join them?”

Glancing at backseat: He finally fell asleep. How often does your son ride with you?

“Sure, we can stop by your aunt’s/neighbor’s/mechanic’s house for you to pick up a package/lunch/supplies.”

“My friend’s neighbor has a tree that drops mangoes in her yard (I promise we didn’t steal them!)  Would you like one? Do you prefer them green or ripe?”

1 Comment

  1. Kyric Koning

    Oh man. Taxi rides are wild. I remember when I had to bus everywhere. Public transportation can be interesting. Without full context it’s hard to tell if you had more good than bad, but this is certainly a delightful sampling.

    Reply

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