I woke up to a very bad morning today.
I had to hold back tears riding in this taxi because I didn’t want to do any damage to my ”new” eyes. As I slipped into the backseat, all I can think of is my 70 AED slipping away because I had to take this transportation to work.
Like I always do, I tried to start a conversation with the driver. I asked him if we could make it to my destination in half an hour.
He said he was going to try. He asked me where I was from (which is the default conversation starter in this part of the world) and I told him I was from the Philippines.
That was the start of a very lively and animated narration of his life with his ex-Filipina girlfriend of 9 months. He told me how he met her, helped her find accommodation and provided her cash and food. He assisted her in finding a new job because she was a runaway. He showed me photos of her as visual aids.
She eventually got caught and he had to personally beg her former employer to let her go. That didn’t work so he paid to get her out of jail and purchased her ticket to fly home. He then continued to send her money to help her re-apply for a passport and come back to Abu Dhabi. After a few months, she messaged him saying she couldn’t come back because she was married and had one kid.
He entered depression, nearly quitted his job and go home. His boss and friends slowly helped him to recover up ’till today.
It’s sad and humiliating to hear stories like this. I know he is just one of the many victimized by shameless soulless liars. Irrespective of nationality, there will always be corrupt people who, without conscience, prey on the generous hearts of others.
Taxi Driver: My mother and father always ask me to get married. They find girls for me from home but I told them, if I marry, I will marry Filipina.
Me: Why? After all that happened?
Taxi Driver: Filipina they are good. Even what she did to me, I still love her you know. She is taking care of me very well. She is very sweet. Filipina, I feel very loved.
Me: Just keep on hoping then. One day you’ll meet the right Filipina for you.
Taxi Driver: My only problem is I am only taxi driver. Everybody look at me and they think to their head, I have no education, I am low, I am nothing.
Me: I know. That’s the sad truth. But you’re a taxi driver, you’re earning more than a lot of people here, you know how to drive, you can express yourself so well. I’m sure you have extra skills that others don’t have. You should be proud of yourself. And if it’s true love, that girl won’t see you as a taxi driver, she’ll just see love.
Taxi Driver: Your husband very lucky you know. It’s hard to find beautiful Filipina with kind heart, kind words and good English.
(That last part I had to laugh at)
When we arrived the meter showed 55 AED.
Me: Why is it only 55? I used to always pay 65-70 AED.
Taxi Driver: I made shortcut. You’re good customer, I don’t want to take longer road and get money from you.
I paid him 70 AED, the worth of two tickets to a cinema. He entertained me well and left me lessons to think about. He made my day.
It was a good morning after all.