The Cab Driver Plays Puccini

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

When I'm riding in a taxi, the majority of the time the drivers are talking on their cell phones, using earphones of course since it's the law, but sometimes it's the whole duration of the cab ride even. I know that they are aren't actually talking to me, since having fallen for that before, but I just can't help but wonder who is talking to them for so long at all hours of the day. Do they have a wife just sitting at home providing them with phone company? Are they talking to other cabdrivers? Usually it's not in English so it's hard for me to figure out the relationship. I know during the work week it's hard enough finding someone I can call on my lunch hour who is available to chat with, so I'm really curious how they find someone after midnight, in the afternoons and during the morning commute to speak with. Don't these people have jobs that require communication outside their cells? Yes, I'm giving this way too much thought.

When my cabbies are not on their mobiles, I do like asking them questions, it's the reporter in me I guess. I like hearing where they are from, what long shifts they work, their commute, if they own or rent their cab, about their children, spouse etc. I'll start by a comment on the weather like: 'do you believe all this rain? I'm getting ready to build an arc.' Then they ask me about where I'm going or about where they just picked me up from, then the conversation segways into what I do for a living, schooling background, their living in Queens and their children who they want to see do well in regards to education and job wise.
Before the holidays, the day after the strike I hailed a cab and asked to be taken to Grand Central Station. The cab driver, Mohamed, then asked me if I was "Going to Connecticut?" I laughed and said "yes, why do I look like I'm going to Connecticut?" He said "yup" and that was that. haha. When he found out that I was Italian, not sure how that came about though I do remember that he is married to a Philippine woman who he says is beautiful like Italian women and then he put in his own mixed CD of Puccini, then we both hummed along to La Boheme. It was pretty funny.
News Update: Questions are still surrounding the maple syrup smell that has swept Manhattan twice now. Trying to Make Some Sense of That Syrupy Scent. My old blog post about smelling the sweet scent can be found at: Attack of the maple syrup.
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