I don’t drive. I took the lessons and learned very early on this was something I would not enjoy. So I never even went to get my driver’s license. This translates into 15 years of being a taxi rider in Amman; and guess what, I really enjoy being a taxi rider.
Contrary to popular belief, not all taxi drivers are dangerous drivers, out to cheat you or are plain rude, sleazy or are asses. In fact I have had more pleasant rides than not in my humble 15 years of riding the yellow chariots. I’ve had wonderful taxi drivers who look after their cabs, keep them clean and tidy and even smelling fresh and nice. I’ve had taxi drivers who were quiet and serene. Others that were funny and full of optimism and life. The religious, the rockers, the young and the old, the fast and the slow… you name it and I’ve probably dealt with it. Sometimes I even get the same cab driver by coincidence, and we both remember each other. It’s always amusing.
But away from who is driving the cab, I enjoy being driven. I am a control freak, I like to be in charge and in control of most things in my life. But here is a situation where someone else can be in charge. And when that happens I am free to do other things. Back in the day when I would freelance, I was always on the go and so cabs were my offices, always on the phone, or reading some document or other. When I had a toastmaster’s speech and I was heading to a meeting I would tell the cabbie I have a lecture and start practicing out load. Other times I catch up on my sms and phone calls while en-route between places. And if I have nothing else to do I read. I have done some of my best reading in cabs. I even have my morning cab ritual which involves daydreaming and waking up to my thoughts and sending good morning, good energy messages to friends.
People always tell me I should get a car since I am all over the place. I disagree, and reply why drive when you can be driven? But I also know that I would be a dangerous driver because I have conditioned myself to being a passenger all my life and for 15 years I have focused on me and my world instead of the road and what is happening on the street. So to my wonderful drivers I say thank you.