Cabbies get a bad rap. I must admit, I’ve had some pretty unpleasant auditory and olfactory experiences in a cab. But, for every bad experience I’ve had, I’ve had three good experiences. If you take the time to talk to the person behind the wheel, you’ll find that some of the most interesting people in the world are cab drivers.
Yesterday, I flagged down a cab while trying not to drop 1,000 flyers I had just picked up for my next Just You Only Better Workshop for Women. I apologized for taking such a short trip (most cabbies HATE that) and explained that I didn’t think I could carry my load for 8 blocks without paying for it later. He gently smiled at me and told me not to worry. He was happy to have me in his cab. Wow.
Most of the drivers in Philly are from all over the world. So I asked him how long he has lived here and where he was from. He smiled again and began to tell me a little bit about himself. His name was Moses. I repeated it back to him in case I misunderstood what he said and held back any “parting of the waters” jokes. Moses has traveled in 42 countries and speaks 7 different languages. I told him that my husband was Italian and he proceeded to speak to me in Italian—his accent was as perfect as his wise old smile.
After being in his cab for about 2 minutes, he asked me if I was a writer. I never think about myself as a “writer” but I answered that I write a little now and then. He said I reminded him of an old friend who was a philosopher in Sweden. I’ve been compared to different people over the years, but I promise you this was the first time I’ve ever been compared to a philosopher. I had to laugh out loud.
Moses said he learned so many life lessons from this woman that he still feels indebted to her—30 years later. One tidbit of wisdom that she told him was that you can learn everything you need to know about a man from 2 observations:
Moses told me to think about the simplicity of this. A true gentleman will wait for you until he starts his meal, will take his time savoring the food and wine instead of devouring it, and will happily share it with you.
A man’s actions behind the wheel, according to his friend, are also good indicators of his character. Does he only think about himself or does he respect others on the road? Does he zoom around other cars to jump ahead of others who have been patiently waiting to get off at their exit? We’ve all seen drivers who do this—sadly, they think they’re more important than everyone else.
Of course, these observations apply to women too. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s simply about showing respect for others.
So, how do you share your table? And what are you like behind the wheel?
Please share your thoughts on this and any experiences you’ve had with an interesting cab driver.