Oct 24, 2008

He Hates When I talk to Cab Drivers ...

it seems that the habit of cabbing is one these New Yorkers (at least one New Yorker and one through marriage) could easily get accustomed to.

there is so much to love about door-to-door service. (except for my propensity to grow so dreadfully nauseous on the ride that i'm sure i won't make it up to the apartment without passing out or losing whatever i ate last) that aside, i love the speed. i love seeing the city whilst i travel. i love that there is no transfer. i love that i can kiss my husband more intensely than i would on a subway platform without eager teenagers hollering and cheering.

but what i love MOST about taking a cab is chatting with these fascinating drivers ... these, the men who know new york better than any of us can claim. these, the men who live there lives and drive their cars at the break-neck speed of this whirlwind city.

i ask them about politics (Obama)

i ask them how they've seen the economy effect business (customers are walking)

i ask them about their families. (spanning continents and boroughs or sometimes packed into an apt with them)

i ask them where they are from (Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Jersey, the Congo)

i ask why his name is Muhammad Muhammad, and if he has a father or a son named Muhammad. Is he like Boutros Boutros Ghali, former secretary general of the UN, son of Boutros, father of Boutros Boutros Boutros (much easier than jr. or III)

one has a degree in law from a foreign university that the US doesn't recognize.
another has 3 children.
one lives 3 blocks north of me.
the next wants to be the president of the United States.
one used to own a business in his home country.

the joy i get from these chats alone is enough to take a cab- i almost wish the ride was longer so i had more time to learn the intricacies of their lives. but i think HE, the husband, could do without the chatting.
not because he doesn't enjoy the conversation, he does.
or because he tires of my endless inquisitivity, he thinks its endearing.
but because these chats almost always lead to one thing ... a grossly over calculated tip - my own way of thanking them for a wonderful night.

37% - he had four children...
50% - to get an American law degree...
29% - to afford the rising Brooklyn rents and a donation to his future presidential campaign.

they work hard. the love america. they deserve my dollars.


E.F.G. said...

i don't know if the sweeping "they love america" comment is legit. however with higher gas prices i think over tipping is ok. now that the prices are dropping however, you may want to save that extra 15% for the nutcracker or a trip to anguilla.

Marci & Daniel said...

I love this post.

familia Bybaran said...

I am with you on getting naseous every time I get in a cab these days. What's the deal? I think it might be those TV's that they have now that you cannot turn off. I love that you talk to all the cab drivers. They must love you.

Stephanie said...

Paul may only be a cab driver in his spare time, but he did mention how good you are at making conversation.

The Mendenhall Clan said...


scott and lindsey said...

i love talking to cab drivers! They always have the best stories!

Alex said...

I love this. I love cab drivers... and I'm glad the nausea is universal. hah!

Rebecca Smylie said...

I'm proud of you. It's like a slap on the wrist for me. When I get in a cab, should the cabby try to start a conversation (this is MY time) I use one word asnwers and if that doesn't work, I call someone. I should NOT have admitted that. I'll try to be better.

Joanna Goddard said...

this is so sweet. xo