Saturday, October 18, 2008


Azerbaijan votes but there's no pluralism. Hindus and Christians in India force conversion upon each other. 40% of the world has no access to proper toilets. But all you can do is complain about the people who ride in NYC taxicabs. This pompous prick in a corporate suit walked across 50th street and pulled on your door handle as you pulled away, after writing a note in your journal. He was like 'whoa!' (applied to horses) and you braked abruptly. Stuck your head through the window and told him he should speak in advance... say "taxi" or something, you know? But he found this offensive. "Know what? I'll find another cab, idiot!", he slurred in a loathsome fashion.

They think taking a cab is like checking into a vacant restroom at Starbucks. No need to recognize there being an actual human behind the wheel. You're like a commode, available to hold his ass when he needs to go (somewhere). It took a lot of discipline not to step outside and swing at his face. Your NYC hack license is far more valuable. But this scene reminded you of another instance a few nights ago when these 2 married executives got in and wanted to go anyplace they might have luck getting laid. "Our wives won't find out you facilitated this. Just help some geezers out. Somebody's getting rammed up the ass tonight (LOL)." Only difference in treatment of the cabdriver was that the latter were drunk. Therefore, the patronization came in a lighter form.

Every time you're stuck in Second Avenue traffic around 8:30 am (where are you not stuck at that hour?) and explain to the passenger that it's the Midtown Tunnel jamming things up, they say, in a malapert way, "but why would people be leaving to Queens right now"... as if you tried to pull a fast one over their heads. "No, I'm talking about the influx."
"Ohhh, I see what you're saying."

It'll be hard to forget this one elder aristocrat who hailed you down by the end of W23rd. She wanted to take the 6 train back uptown. You hadn't even crossed 9th Ave. when she began asking if you thought it's good exercise to walk across town. It was one of her only times ever coming this far downtown. "Well of course it is".
"But I don't see any good clothing stores around here".
"Sure there are, haven't you heard of Ladies Mile?"
"Well, so show me then".
You made a left instead of continuing towards the subway station.
"What kind of shops are you looking for?"
"Top of the line, high fashion".
So you begin naming off the storefronts and when you say Eileen Fisher she perks up and squeals for you to stop right here, this instant. The fare is $5.70 and she dishes out 6. No other cabdriver would have treated her with such genuine consideration the entire length of the trip. Yet if you compare her tip and the average price tag inside that place, something ain't right. Perhaps if you were rude she'd ask for three dimes back.

When not driving the cab, you teach Yoram (your dad) computer literacy skills, like how to attach his resume to email in response to ads online offering employment to experienced electricians. He's got a job, but wants options in case the economy grinds to a halt. You also get him a web cam so he can keep in touch for free via Skype with his sister in L.A.. She (your aunt) happens to be among the most incredible artists on the planet, in the realm of collage journalism. An inspiration to those who try to place meaning on the subtle contradictions of life.

Dad is so adorable on the lap top. In a short span of time, he's gone from nothing to picking up his pouch of coffee and typing up a map search of its distribution warehouse in Paterson (NJ). Both of us are interested in exploring this the 2nd largest Arab American population outside of Dearborn (MI), and bringing some authentic Baklava back to Queens. What's that? Astoria, right. You 're left with a picture of the first night in months you went out with old friends. Cabdriver with a social life. What?


  1. Great post Gil, I think I've driven the same customers as you..except she would have asked for the 30 cents back, and I would oblige her with pennies which I keep a roll of just in case people ask for the change....they usually just say forget it! I reply "you sure"?? I can count to thirty, I learned it this week. People. Glad you had a night out, always recharges the ole batteries.

  2. dito, great post, I came across your site earlier, wanted to remember, than for some reason forgot. I'll put your link in to my blog right away, and be a regular reader. it's good inspiration for me to write something for once.

  3. Thanks for your comment. Your story and your blog are quite fascinating. Great perspective.


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