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Saturday, May 8, 2010

More intriguing cab rides...

It's not everyday that I get to go around Beirut in a cab. In fact I've gotten so accustomed to driving my own car that all of the chaos surrounding our notorious public transport system had evaded my memory. When you have your own car, you just forget about the adventure that it is to get a cab driver to drive you from point A to point B, and all that's in between.

... Until your car stays at the dealership workshop for 4 days for repairs and maintenance (And yes I see the trend, thank you).
I got a call from the guys at the garage asking me to come and pick up my pride and joy, ready after a long absence.

The trip from AUH to the Sin el Fil workshop was uneventful. But it was the return trip that was all worth while! I picked up my car and parked it in the Galaxy mall parking lot (Coming back to Hamra or Bliss and searching for a safe parking spot is a no-no after 10:00 AM), and took a serial 2 cabs back to AUH. My car parked in a safe underground parking away from direct sunlight, I was happy, smiling, and satisfied with the workshop's job well done.

(1) - Galaxy - Tayyouneh
I hailed the first cab and in the ceremonial "la wein?" (where to?) conversation, I said "Tayyouneh". The cab driver laughed and appeared annoyed, and whined "ma ele jlede ya zalame halla2 kenet bel tayyouneh!" ("Oh come on man! I can't be bothered, I was just there for cryin out loud!") Surprised, I smiled and said "OK... it's your call, I'm not making you do it!", thinking to myself: "is this for real??". The guy finally told me he'd drive me to the end of the street for free and go home for lunch. On the way he found 2 more clients going to tayyouneh, so he looked at me and happily congratulated me saying "wejjak kheir ya habibe!" (something like good karma). I ended up reaching my waypoint and the driver ended up making an extra LBP 6,000 before lunch.

(2) - Tayyouneh - Hamra
The second cab driver was less of a pleasant ride. As I leaned toward the pasenger side window and said "Hamra", I noticed that he was staring at my lips. It turned out he was deaf, and had impaired speech, probably as a result of his deafness. I couldn't help but overhear the conversation between him and the passenger who sat in the front next to him. The story had it that he had lost his hearing in an explosion sometime during his childhood. He had burn scars on what was the better part of his body to show for it. And then, in an all-but-subtle segue, he went on to talk about how he had just lost his 20 year-old brother to a Heroin overdose. And before I could wrap my head around that, he looks at me in his rear view mirror and mumbled words I couldn't make out, but he made it clear by acting out a drug user's needle prick. The passenger then told me the whole story he had heard. The driver was trying to figure out how to get his two other brothers off the drugs before it was too late. What a shame.
After this humbling reminder of my pre- driver's license days, I got to AUH on time, with lots to think about.
Good karma? Bad karma? I couldn't tell anymore.


Anonymous said...

you are so lucky with your cab rides!!!you're always falling on the worst there is!!
by the way i love the new background with the wine glass, makes you dream a bit... ;)))

Le colleague said...

Hehe right? Crazy drivers!!

Hannah said...

This is Hannah Bevills, I am an editor with We are a medical publication whose focus is geared towards promoting awareness on hospitals, including information, news, and reviews on them. Given the relevance of what you are offering from your site and what our mission is, I feel we may be able to collaborate in some way or another, I look forward to your response regarding the matter. Thanks!

Hannah Bevills

Le colleague said...

Hannah. I am pleased and interested. I will contact you shortly.

poshlemon said...

Something doesn't feel right. I miss the black here...

Le colleague said...

I know... Many have said so hehe
I think it'll be back very soon I miss it too

But everyone's also complaining that the text is too bright against black. :S

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