Every day should be Taxicab Appreciation Day

I Love You So Much It Hurts

Image by Señor Codo via Flickr

I have this affinity with cab drivers and believe the bonds of  “immigrant-hood” are strong between us.  These drivers come from troubled or poor countries that most Americans can’t locate on a map. They come alone, without knowing the language, and their ability to learn English and the city streets is admirable and courageous.  I’m one of those fares that expect a conversation along with a safe route to my destination, and my ” in” is my immigrantness. I am genuinely interested in their day, having worked in a variety of retail and food servicing jobs and we commiserate together on the rudeness of people, politics, religion, the economy, the difficulty of adjusting to a new country, the self-reliance and loneliness of coming to America without knowing anyone, and the stability of our respective countries. It’s always an enjoyable experience, which is why the following Chicago Sun-Times article almost broke my heart:

Driving a cab is a dangerous job. A new survey from the University of Illinois at Chicago, to be released today, found that one in five Chicago cabdrivers has been physically attacked on the job.

“Cabdrivers are targets for ethnic prejudices,” said Fayez Khozindar, chairman of the United Taxidrivers Community Council.

“She said you are very lucky because I am not going to kill you because today is my birthday,” Kim said.

via Chicago Sun-Times

The article goes on to explain that cab drivers cannot park on residential streets, and the “long walk home” from a commercial street can be dangerous.

If you’re a taxi-loving patron too, I suggest you stop by HACK (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Driving a Cab), a local blog chronicling a cab driver’s experiences complete with telling drawings. For those interesting in becoming a cab driver, follow the link to a How-To article on one of the world’s “most interesting jobs” (if only I knew how to drive!).


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