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Taxi blues in Beirut

BEIRUT | February 15, 2014, 15h19
Par Victoria Espada
Every taxi driver is different. Some are screamers, some are honkers. Some never talk. Some can’t stop talking. Some offer you gum, or candy, or cookies. Others offer you cigarettes. Some give you advice on life, whether you want it or not. Some give it to you straight. Some just say thank you when you hand them their fare and others send you off with blessings.
Once I got in a taxi with a splitting headache, and this guy starts asking me tons of questions, how old I am, what I do for work, am I married, etc….and then he proceeds to tell me that I’m getting old and need to get married right now or else I will be too old to have children.

Then he tells me his wife got married at 18 and they now have 5 children. He showed me their pictures proudly and made me promise I’d get married soon. My message to him? Thanks for the advice, but please just stick to your day job….thanks.

Some taxi drivers will gladly accept you, however there are others who simply won’t.

There’s nothing like a healthy dose of rejection in morning, especially from taxi drivers. If they’re not heading in your direction or have people in the car who are heading in a different direction they have the right to drive off and leave you on the side of the road, waiting for the next taxi to come along. So, on a cold, rainy morning when you’re already late for work because your hamsters had a fight and one ended up with a bloody face, it’s just adding insult to injury to be rejected by 10 different drivers, some who even had empty cars.

Then there’s the advisory going around that some drivers are out to get young women, or US citizens, kidnap them and they’ll never see the light of day again. Does that stop me from taking public transportation every single day? I can’t say that it’s completely gone from my mind…but what are the chances? (last words?)

In all seriousness, every taxi drivers is different, so the fact is, you never know what you’re going to get until you hop in.
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