Disclaimer: I am not being racist in this blog, but just sharing an anecdote of what happened in my cab ride from my apartment to the airport whilst on my way to Auckland.
As you can probably imagine, today has been a rather long day. It’s Good Friday tomorrow i.e. the beginning of the Easter weekend, which is a long weekend down under. A whopping 4 days off. So of course it made sense to take a fifth day off as well. I decided at the beginning of March, when it was a rather busy time at work, that I’d go home to Auckland for this long weekend as a little reward for the extra hours at work. Besides there aren’t many long weekends where you get 4 days off!
I am a last minute packer. I only packed last night for my trip today. Well that’s okay because there really wasn’t a lot I needed to bring with me any way. The real challenge is in taking all my winter gear back. My flight this morning was at 9.15am. However there was some sort of disruption going on at Sydney airport, which could have been a potential cause for delays. I decided to leave for the airport by 5.30am and had booked a cab to pick me up at this time.
I made my way down to the front of my apartment building at about 5.20am as I needed to dispose off some trash. Luckily as I walked out I saw a taxi pulling in and I hailed it. Yes that was definitely the cab that I had booked. How did I know this? Well the driver greeted me by my name as he got out of the car to open up the boot and put my suitcase in. The only way he’d have known my name is through my booking.
Not that I didn’t appreciate the personalised service, but I’m not really sure how I felt about it. I sat in the front passenger seat. He starts to make small talk. Where are you going? How long for? Where are you from? He discovered that whilst we are from two different countries, Bangladesh and India, we spoke the same language. So of course he had to test and see if I can actually speak in Bengali. I personally find this very uncomfortable, not because I don’t appreciate communicating in my mother tongue, but I’d rather communicate in English with strangers, especially when we are being recorded on camera. You never know when these recordings might come handy.
He continued with his questions, this time in Bengali. Were the tickets expensive? How much did they cost? My answer, “Oh dad sent it to me”. Nope that didn’t stop him he continued harping around personal questions. When suddenly he stopped and there was a brief awkward silence. He then again began speaking in Bengali, which at first I thought was directed at me. However I slowly realized that he was on a phone conducting business. No really. His conversation with whosoever was on the other end literally consisted of, “How many cars in so and so neighbourhood?” “No, send more cars in the following suburbs.” This conversation of his about allocating cars to the various suburbs of Sydney was just slightly creepy. Besides he shouldn’t have been on the phone!
Amidst his car allocations, he suddenly starts talking about me to this other person. Yes, really. He basically told this person, I was from the same country as him, and summarized all the personal points he learnt about me and conveyed it to them. Continuing on, he then clarified to me that he was just talking about me to this other person. Mate, I know, we speak the same language. Now comes more allocation of cars as we drive through tunnels and get closer to the airport. Thankfully, he continued talking to this other mystery person as we drove. But as we approached the airport, at which point it seemed like his conversation was done, he says “wait wait”, um was that to me? He kept saying wait, and then said stay here I’ll be back in a minute. Again, was that to me? I just awkwardly waited, and then came the big finale, the charge for your trip is $70. And that’s my cue! He then clearly said, wait a minute whilst I drop her off. Yup, okay then, I’m dropped off, you continue with your chat. See you hopefully never again.
Yes that was a rather awkward cab ride. Probably the most awkward one I’ve ever had. What have your experiences been like, tell me!
Until next time,