Ah, Hong Kong?
No, no, that is eight hours.
No, that is 9 hours.
Yes, yes, Korea.
I came here as a migrant twenty years ago. I hate it. Look at me, a failure. All I am doing is driving a taxi. My brother has a PhD in marine engineering, has lots of houses and lives in London. He studied in Austin for six years doing his PhD. he is clever. He stayed in Korea and did well. I should never have left. I still rent. (Long pause). I still rent!
My friend he is a cleaner. he works very hard and has three houses in Sydney and one with a pool. I rent and have nothing. I should go back. But my children are now adults and study here. What do I do? And now my wife is sick. She has an illness in her head that paralyses her and the doctors here have nothing. Korean medicine is ten years ahead of Australia. I should take her there. But I would have to pay and I have no money. She hates being here too. Her family is all in Korea.
(He lightens a little). We visited Lightening Ridge when we first came here. Let’s see 1982. Beautiful opals there, and amazing people. My wife said to me recently “Let’s go back to see Lightning Ridge.” She liked that place. So did I. Good people. But I had to say that no, I could not go to Lightning Ridge because petrol is so expensive nowadays.
(Laughing, the weight coming off him a little) She said we had to go for a trip or we would have to divorce. She thinks my snoring is driving her crazy. I can’t hear it. She thinks I do not snore when we are travelling. You know, I have a friend who has worked for twenty years for a snoring company (!).
Do you mean RESMED?
Yes, yes, you know RESMED?
Yes, quite well.
Yes, he has worked for many years at RESMED. He is more successful than me – he does not drive cabs. He came from Korea and is now working for a big company like RESMED.
(I thought we were heading for depression again but he stayed away from that and focused on his family for the rest of the trip. His son and his studies and his working for a Jewish IT company being this man’s primary consolation for having landed in this place. First cab driver to resent the migration of his family to here).