An Interesting Taxi Driver
I was assigned job by my current company in eastern region of Saudi Arabia. I stayed there for almost 6 months if I am not wrong, which made me come back and forth to my home after every couple of weeks. Either I take car or train or even sometimes go by flight.
This time I decided to take plane to eastern region which is 1 hr 30 min flight and as the airport is almost 60 km out of city and heavy traffic on the road can keep anyone on the road for more than an hour from airport to city centre. I took taxi from King Fahad International Airport Dahran to my office on Khobar-Dammam highway which took me one hour, where I met a very interesting taxi driver.
Initially we talked in Arabic; he was trying to speak in a way so I can understand. He was from old eastern city of Hafouf and was dressed traditionally; the way normally eastern region residents do. After having brief introduction in Arabic my knowledge of Arabic reached its limit I gave up and told him sorry that I am not able to understand you.
Out of no where he said, “Do you speak English?” I was no doubt surprised to see an english speaking educated taxi driver where the core language is Arabic. From here we hit it of, he took much interest in Pakistani culture, he asked me from he can buy Pakistani stuff especially Pakistani clothes. I told him the thing I know. But the conversation got more interesting when he come to know about my telecommunication profession.
He took many ideas from me saying that he want to make his taxi a well-entertained ride by putting screen in his car with internet facility. He asked whether it is possible or not, I informed him the latest internet technology available these days and time might come that you will have internet everywhere in every single device. I did want to make the conversation much technical so thought this information might be enough.
But that was not enough; to my surprise he took one dairy out of dash-board and said, “This is my traveller’s diary.” For the first in my life I met a taxi driver who is interested in making his ride more entertained and keeps travellers diary where every visitor put his comments. He told me to write whatever I want to and I can read the comments put by other riders too.
There were comments by south-african, by British, by Saudis, Pakistanis and many other nationalities with suggestion and even complaints about the problems they have faced during their stay in Saudi Arabia. Well I was so impressed by his concept of keeping his taxi that I wrote two page long letters, where I praised his work, put something about myself, my country and invited him to visit to know my people more closely.
Well in nut-shell, it was no doubt the most interesting one hour of taxi ride. And I started believing, no matter what you do, whatever profession you have; it’s up to you how you want to enjoy it and make it more entertaining for you and for people around you. May be his small contribution is just another small way to make this world a better place to live.