Cab drivers are under-appreciated. About five times a year I take a taxi to and from the airport. This is because my family chooses to own one car (keeping it green my friends).
I have met cab drivers from every corner of the globe and am always touched by their stories. So far, every cab driver I have met has immigrated to Canada. I’m astounded that so many of them have graduate or doctoral level education. In fact, two of my recent drivers used to teach in a university. It brings to mind the Amanda Marshall song, “Everybody’s Got a Story” where she sings about the taxi driver with a PhD. So true.
So I asked my driver this past week, “What are some of the craziest stories of things that have happened to you while driving a cab?” Thirty minutes flew by as he unfolded some fascinating tales. On two separate occasions he was an unwitting driver for bank robbers. Both times he was rolled by the police with the culprits still in the car. He said that one time he was assaulted at knife point by someone who refused pay the fare. He wrestled the assailant to the ground and took away the knife. Then he stood with his foot on the man’s throat until the police showed up. On another occasion, he had a woman offer to pay for her fare by removing her shirt. He didn’t take her up on the offer. He said to me, “What does she think I am, some kind of an animal?”
I can’t imagine leaving behind the country you love, friends and family, and a prominent career to escape persecution or find a life of freedom. All I can say is, never underestimate the person behind the wheel of your taxi. Get to know him. Tip well. Love your cabby.