Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Most Unusual Taxi Ride

After watching the snow flurries from my window this morning, I went out and took a cab.

The taxi was from a company I know well, but I had never seen the driver before. Surprisingly, she was a woman. (Most taxi drivers in Israel are men.)

Even more surprising was the white snood she wore on her head. I thought: A haredi woman taxi driver? Now I’ve seen everything.

When I got into the cab, I saw that she was wearing slacks. OK, definitely not haredi, but then ... what?

My interest piqued, I began a conversation. “Where are you from?” I asked her, unable to place her accent.

“Jerusalem,” she answered in halting Hebrew, and then: “I was born in Kuwait and came here after the first Gulf War. My parents and siblings live in Jordan, and I live here with my husband and children.”

“How long have you been driving a cab?” I asked.

“One year,” she said.

After some more conversation, I asked her: “Besides Kuwait, how does the Arab world feel about Saddam’s fall?”

“They are happy about it,” she said. “The Arab world never liked him, and they’re glad he’s gone. What a horrible man.”

She was listening to the news in Arabic about the conference at Sharm el-Sheikh, then switched to a Hebrew-language station so that I could listen too. “Finally, we will have peace,” she said. “It’s all we want. I have three children, and all I want is for them to grow up in peace.”

“So do I,” I answered. “Inshallah.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. If you're a spammer, don't waste your keystrokes. If you're a real, honest-to-goodness commenter, welcome!