Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You…..

This Taxi Driver is Holding My life Story. Probably.
Dubai taxi drivers are an institution. I’ve blogged about them manytimes before – taxis here are cheap and prolific and most of us use them as we would have used a bus in the UK. Although I’m happy to say I can’t remember using a UK bus since my University days. I shudder at the memory.

Taxi drivers have a bit of a bad reputation for driving like maniacs and being generally unhelpful when it comes to knowing where your destination is (whoops!) but in the main, I’ve always had good experiences. 

They can be quiet, surly, or even downright rude. But approximately once a month, you will get the chattiest taxi driver alive. One that probes and analyses you like a Pakistani or Indian Jeremy Paxman.

Real questions I was asked this week, on ONE short journey:

  1. How long you live in Dubai?
  2. You like Dubai?
  3. Why you come to Dubai?
  4. How long you are going to stay in Dubai?
  5. Where you from?
  6. Whereabouts in the UK?
  7. What job do you do?
  8. Is that a good job?
  9. Does it pay good money? (Derisive snort from me)
  10. Where you live in Dubai?
  11. You like it?
  12. Is it nice place?
  13. Is it expensive?
  14. Does your company pay your rent? (Derisive snort from me)
  15. Are your parents still alive?
  16. Where do they live?
  17. Are they still working?
  18. What does your father do as job?
  19. What does your mother do as job?
  20. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
  21. Do you send money home and support them?
  22. Have they been to Dubai?
  23. Do they like Dubai?
  24. How old are you?
  25. Are you married?
  26. Do you have any children?
I’ve had similar questions before – numbers 25 and 26 are usually the first ones that get launched into the back seat like hand grenades. But I can’t remember ever covering such a range of topics in such quick succession. To be fair, as a taxi driver, I’m sure it’s a good way to pass the time, especially if you’re a bit nosy.

I don’t mind telling you that it was quite exhausting, with him quick-firing these at me from the front seat. At the end of the journey I almost fell out of the cab onto the pavement, handing over my birth certificate and inside leg measurement, as I left, just to make sure he knew EVERY little detail of my life.

Dubai Taxi Drivers: Love them or hate them, they’re always entertaining.

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