Standing for Others & Cabbies


Standing for the Fallen in Saudi Arabia

Heidar el Rizza stood at 4th and Pine for his fellow brothers who lay fallen for freedom in Saudi Arabia. His children and relatives also joined him holding flags. He said, “This is very, very bad and not right. Someone has to stand for them.” I agree.

Here’s to peace. Here’s to freedom for everyone.

*****

Sometimes I work late and opt to take a cab home to be safe. I don’t ever feel all that unsafe in Seattle but it’s best to, well, be safe. Heh. I love talking with cabbies. They have so much insight into a world I’ve never visited, typically. I don’t think I’ve ever met an American cabbie who drives in America. They’re mostly foreigners. I’ve spoken with people from Morocco, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, South Africa, India, Somalia and even this tiny little country Eritrea. I had never heard of this small country. I was rather embarrassed but happy to be educated.

Cabbies have a reputation for ripping people off. Stealing, basically. Especially when they know the customer is a tourist. NY cabbies have a terrible name. It’s likely I have never noticed but I can’t remember this happening to me. But I am also very friendly and kind to them. Perhaps that makes a difference. I make conversation unless its clear they aren’t interested (sometimes I am not interested either). I ask them about their lives, where they’re from, how long have they been driving, about their families. They are people and they have amazing things to share.

Last week I asked my cabbie if he liked his job. “No. I do not. Its terrible work.”
“Good,” I said. “If you had told me you loved it I would have thought you were a liar.” We laughed.
“So what do you want to do?”
He told me he was unsure. He thought of going back to school but said he was too old. He was in his 50s.
“You’re never too old! The only time is now. I believe in you, man! If you want to do it, you can and you should for your own honor if it’s what you want.” He laughed, and missed my stop by 2 blocks, then said it was likely he would go to school.

I’m happy for him. There are very few things people are “too old” or “too young” to do. Very few.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Standing for Others & Cabbies”
  1. Just some guy says:

    Eritrea really is worth looking into… online…

    I cannot say enough about the place. In your mind, you’d think it to be some white-hot cauldron of total poverty. In reality, and despite the Equator being not so far to the south of it, Eritrea’s main cities are waaaaaaaaaaaay up high in the mountains.

    One part of Eritrea is among the hottest places on earth, as it gets down to 75 feet beLOW sea level. The cities of “Keren” and “Asmara” are way up high in elevation, and have wonderful climates as a result… despite being in Africa.

    I recall years ago first learning about Eritrea in depth via people on the bus, and then internet research which led me to a couple called “Hans” and “Mebrat” (you can probably guess which was from Eritrea). I think if you still use Google and insist on the words: “Hans”, “Mebrat”, and “Eritrea”, you will get a great dose of new understanding.

    Here is a link to get you started:

    http://www.eritrea.be/old/mebrat-guestbook2004.htm

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