Taxi Driver – Vanuatu

June 13, 2012

The taxi driver was a short round chap, half asleep and lying reposed in the window of his beaten up little Suzuki van.  And it was surely a wreck with little to commend it other than at midnight it was going to save us a walk in the rain back to the hotel. We stepped down to the street from where we had dined. The road was completely empty of traffic.   But the driver was alert, despite his slothful posture. A flash of lights on our left, from where he was perfectly poised to catch diners, drinkers or gamblers leaving the premises. Read more

Taxi Driver (Kenyan – in Kenya)

May 8, 2011

cab.jpgGood morning. Are you going up country?

Sure am. Not many who are doing that at this time of the morning.

He laughs.

True enough. Most are heading into the city at this time of the morning. We should have a clear run up the highway.

I hope this does not sound rude but I think your idea of a highway and mine are two very different things.

He laughs again. There is no offence. Even I agree these roads are terrible. I have driven all over this country and I have to agree, our roads are a disgrace.

Read more

Taxi Story – the Kenyan

March 21, 2011

cab.jpgWaiting outside Nairobi airport. An earlier made friend called Peter walks up in the company of another chap I have never seen., who holds out his cell phone and says by way of introduction:

Here you go, talk to this man.

Who? (And who are you?)

The person on the end of the phone knows where you are supposed to go.

(That is no comfort – his idea and my idea could be hemispheres apart. I take the phone.)

Read more

Taxi Story – Chinese

March 18, 2011

cab.jpg(I use my time in the taxi to practise my interview techniques.  In so doing I suddenly realised I was uncovering some remarkable stories. Some are captured on my blog under the Taxi Story collection  – click on link in right hand bar to see some of them).

Hey, you know my son is very upset. He is in Japan!

In Japan? Not in Tokyo I hope.

Yes in Tokyo. He was supposed to be in one of the areas struck by the tsunami but his tour was delayed. Read more

Taxi Driver – Papuan (Port Moresby)

October 21, 2010

cab.jpgWhere’re you boys goin’?
National Musuem
National or War Museum.
Ah, War museum actually.
Okay boys. War museum. At Gordon?
You boys been on Kokoda?
As a matter of fact yes.
When did you finish?
Wrapped up yesterday. Were up there for nine days.
It’s good you walked Kokoda. Australians and Papuans are brothers. Australians came to Papua and died for us. We are all brothers. Read more

Taxi Story – The Pakistani (II)

March 4, 2009


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I am from Lahore and I drive this taxi part time. The taxi is owned by an Indian. I found this Indian CD behind the visor. It is actually a Pakistani song but the Indians like it. It is a very beautiful song and actually we all like it. Now this one is from India. It is an OK song. I will leave it playing.

I came from Pakistan 12 years ago. I went back to Pakistan every year until my parents died. Parents are the centre of the universe and the reason we go back. But they are now dead. Now I am the centre. Read more

Taxi Story – The Korean

October 25, 2008

cab.jpgGuess where I am from. I never tell anyone. It takes about ten hours to fly from here to my home.

Ah, Hong Kong?

No, no, that is eight hours.


No, that is 9 hours.


Yes, yes, Korea. Read more

Taxi Story – The Ethiopian

October 9, 2008

cab.jpg(Starting to slip into a US drawl) “Howya doing? Hope Street please.” (this was in Washington DC).


“Do you know where that is?”


“Are you able to take me there?” (it is considered a tough part of town)

“Mmmmmm.” Read more

Taxi Story – The Iraqi (II)

August 20, 2008

cab.jpg(Slunk down in his seat, a quiet night on Macquarie Street). Hey, where do you want to go? St Leonards eh? Strange place. You had a long day? 5.30 in the morning start? You are crazy. It is  long enough for me starting to drive at 3pm.  I finish at 11pm. That is respectable. But not respectable enough Read more

Taxi Driver – The Pakistani

February 2, 2008

cab.jpgI jumped a cab in the city yesterday to rush back to a meeting and found myself sitting next to a tall (that was apparent even though he was sitting down) young man in a salwar kameez. Read more

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