Thursday, March 24, 2016

Taxi Cabs

I'm the kind of person who avoids taking taxis.  I feel like every time I'm taking a taxi its like I'm cheating.  Not that there is anything wrong with this mode of transportation, but there is usually a cheaper way to get where I'm going and with a somewhat tight budget, cheaper is typically better.

But there is something about taking taxis that I find fascinating.  It's what the taxi driver tries to talk to you about while he or she is taking you where you need to go.  Many taxi rides are somewhat short, so when you end up in a very deep somewhat specific conversation with a taxi driver, it's probably no coincidence.  Taxi drivers want to preach about what is important to them just as anyone else would.  So when they have an audience for a limited amount of time, they have to get right to the point.  Most of the time I don't really want to talk to my taxi driver, but when I do engage with them, I often find it truly fascinating.

These are people whom we don't think of as intellectuals, but they can hold a conversation about politics or society like anyone else I know.  Many of them are also foreigners.  So you can almost always ask your taxi driver where they are from.  This often spurs some interesting conversations, especially if you are an avid traveler like me.  One time I found myself telling my Ethiopian taxi driver about when I traveled to Ethiopia.

I guess what I'm ultimately trying to say is that you shouldn't take taxi drivers for granted.  They may be the most interesting person you interact with all day or even all week.