Dec 6, 2012

A Strange Conversation with a Stranger

I am still thinking of the odd chat I had this morning with a Taxi Driver on the way to Shorsh Street to see some friends. Like Paulo Coelho says, "there are signs everywhere, you just need to open your eyes to see them" I have always believed in this, today's conversation with the driver was one of those signs.

The Taxi Driver was an old man, perhaps in his 80s. His features were as strange as the conversation we had. He was bald, but had a white beard, well-built and had a strange look on his face.

Here is how our strange conversation started:

Driver: welcome daughter, where do you want me to take you?
Me: Shorsh Street.
Driver: You are from Suly, aren't you?
Puzzled I seem, (Not that I speak Suly) I stop for a moment, then I reply "No, I am from this city, but I have lived my childhood in Suly"
Driver: See, I knew.
I don't say anything because I am surprised.

Then he starts talking about Politics as if he knows I am interested in the topic. He brings  various of matters about Kurdistan, and its relations with Baghdad, and I listen tentatively to his wise words. Sometimes he stops and asks questions, like a teacher testing his student and I try to choose the right words to answer them because I am afraid that all this might be just part of a game to kidnap me (for some reason I don't trust Taxi drivers).

Then he tells me that life is a very strange place, I ask him how strange, and he tells me it's all about a game. He tells me about his life, and how much he has suffered, but never gave up, and never will. He says he is as old as the city. He tells me if I want to live, I need to know how to fight for life.

We stop in the traffic  and then he looks back and he asks me to look to the car beside us, and I do. I see a white BMW with four young men inside the car. They look at us and they start throwing comments. I frown at them  and then I turn my head because I am irritated by their comments. He tells me what I think of them, and I say they are only group of amateurs who are willing to take actions without complete thoughts. He laughs and he says that I am wrong and I ask him what he means. He says they are precisely the people who aren't what they appear to be and that things are not always what they seem. He tells me if he steps out of the car and goes to talk to them, they will probably end up kissing his hand and apologizing for their inappropriate manners.

He asks about what I do and I tell him that I work and study. He surprises me by saying how much he likes to be my driver to take me to work every morning. And I am now even more terrified of him because I am still afraid that his intentions are not good despite his white beard.

We reach Shorsh Street, I pay him money and I step out of the car,  "I will pray God to always protect you my daughter" he says.
 I close the door, and he drives away.

I stand on the street and gaze as  he disappears in the distance, and I realize he meant everything he said to me.

Today, 6. 12. 2012. A day to remember.