Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Talk to your cab driver

via




































I ended up having a "walking home fail" this evening but did manage to hail a cab.  As soon as I got in, I had to ask my driver how he was doing.  It really is the thing that all New Yorkers have been saying to each other this past week.  Usually, the way hailing a cab in New York works is that you don't say much more to your driver other than the address you're going to, which I think is fine, but every once in a while you might want to start up a conversation.

I learned that my driver was Muslim and had immigrated to New York (Astoria specifically) in 2002. He lives in a one bedroom apartment that he pays $1300 a month for, and unfortunately his rent keeps going up.  He lives in his one bedroom apartment with his wife and three kids, who he said never complain.  "The secret is, you don't really need that much space.  You go home to sleep but that's about it.  Space is not as necessary as most people think."

I loved how he said his kids never complain, I loved his positive attitude.  He had half a tank of gas and was doing what he could.

I love that our country is made up of immigrants just like my hard working, good fathering cab driver. Let's not forget where we all came from! My great grandmother was a maid, and two generations later her great granddaughter has a master's degree and a career.  I'm sure my cab driver's children are going to have a very similar experience to my family's, who came here at the turn of the century.

Anyway, I thought my moment in the cab tonight was awfully fitting on election day.  I love immigrants and I'm voting for a president who does too.  Immigrants are the strongest most hard working people in the world, and isn't that what we want America to be made of?

Hope you got out and voted today.  What was your experience like? Did you have crazy lines? I was in and out in 15 minutes but heard horror stories (one friend waited in line for 3 and half hours!)  But how cool is it that people are willing to wait that long to vote!  Please, tell me all about your voting experience comments, and happy election night!

12 comments:

  1. Great post! I waited over an hour and two guys almost threw punches behind me. But I think this is particularly stressful week in NY, so people just let it slide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Yeah, what a crazy week. Doesn't it make you love NY even more though?

      Delete
  2. thank you! I'm an immigrant myself, and I find it so funny (not) that so many Americans often forget that their own families were immigrants, too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that you talked to your cab driver! I always try to engage them in a conversation and end up with the best stories. When studying in Beijing for a semester a couple of years ago, my friends and I once sang patriotic Chinese songs with our cabby for 30mins before he dropped us off at our destination. Best night out ever!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes! Me and Izzy went up to vote and didn't have to wait long. I was shaking and shimmying the whole time to keep her happy, but those circles were filled in and my ballot was cast. Woo!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great story, Sarah. We were in and out for voting in 10 mins. I am so proud of the state of Maryland today. We came out in force for Obama, passed the Dream Act allowing undocumented immigrants to pay instate tuition as long as they graduated from a MD highschool and parents have paid taxes for 3 yrs, and APPROVED GAY MARRIAGE. I am so proud to be in American. I have such hope in the future. Four more years! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's probably really different in NYC, here on Vancouver Island I swear half the cab drivers are drunk old men and the other half are super eccentric people. We have a pretty homogenous community of middle class white people so it's like only the weirdos choose to drive taxis or something. I try to avoid any conversation at all.

    And I'm not really kidding about the drunk thing, maybe I'm confusing being gregarious with drunk but they seem pretty slurry sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! I learned a cabbie's story in Seattle once. It's really cool to get to know strangers like that.

    This year was the first time I've voted at a polling place rather than mailing it in. Luckily, we beat the after-work rush and only had a few people ahead of us in line. I put on my sticker then asked Jamie where his was. "It's in my pocket." he said. "Dude, it's your civic duty to wear your 'I Voted' sticker!" I replied. "It is? It said that!?" "No. But you should wear it." And so he did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never once gotten an I Voted sticker! And I always vote at a polling place. New York needs to do something about that :)

      Delete