Lessons from a cab driver

We jumped in a cab on Saturday night after one heck of a party at Hot Dub Time Machine (do yourself a favour and put it on your bucket list). Now here’s me thinking the night couldn’t get any better than listening to the greatest hits of all time including Aretha, Beetles, Beyonce, Dre and Daft Punk. Not to mention throwing massive medicine balls around a mosh pit with confetti going everywhere.

But boy oh boy I was wrong. 

We jumped in the cab with the whole ‘let's get some bloody Maccas (guilty) and get home’ vibe.  I was pretty exhausted after twisting and shouting like I was Ferris Bueller for three hours. But instead of an awkwardly silent cab ride, I spent the whole 45 minutes crying in fits of laughter with my sister in the back. 

It was all because of our cab driver.

We soon found out he was from Bangladesh. He had fluffy long hair and a beard, was wearing a ‘Taqiyah’ cap (thanks google) and glasses. Half of my amusement was watching him poke fun at Nathan in the front seat, saying he was an ugly bastard who talks to much (I think he was joking). We proceeded to the drive through at Maccas where he demanded a choc-top cone, only to fake cry when he had to settle for a sundae through the speakerphone. He said that he had been working for 24 hours and was as drunk as us (Again, hopefully joking). 

What got me the most about this guy was not the hat on his head, or his beard, or his colour. It was his smile, stupidly loud laugh, crazy antics, and lecturing Nathan about sleeping with his beautiful wife (I'll take that) and making babies when he get’s home. Okay maybe we let him down and only the first part happened. 

He said his greatest joy was his family. He said there is nothing like looking into the eyes of your beautiful two year son and blowing raspberries on his belly and squeezing his tush. He said there’s nothing like protecting your seventeen year old even though she bosses you around. 

I observed him whilst scoffing my fries, as he turned corners in the city screaming out the window ‘I love my job man’. This is a guy that probably has to put up with people spewing in his cab or thinking less of him at times, but clearly it doesn't bother him. He was legitimately happy.

He reminded us how lucky we are. In simple words he said ‘so many people complain in this place, yet where I am from, you live here and you realise how fucking lucky you are. Look outside, it’s just so beautiful, why be sad?’

Despite his passionate nuttiness, he was serious. He genuinely cared. To the point where he was willing to give us the cab ride for free. 

All he wanted in return was to be heard. Well trust me with his wise words, it wasn’t that hard. He finished what he wanted to say, let us be on our merry way, and left us better than he found us.

I don’t know whether I paid $43.00 for a comedic live show or a life coaching session. Either way, this man got me good.

There I was, a writer sitting in a car with a plumber who aspires to DJ in a club, an 18 year old having a gap year who doesn't know what she wants to study, and a Father who drives people around for hours.

But when it comes down to it, none of this is relevant. Because no matter where you're from, the hardships you’ve had, what you do for work or the journey you've travelled so far - he reminded me of something. 

Most folks are as happy as they make their minds up to be.

And if you aren’t happy with something, gear towards changing it. But do it with the inner peace and acceptance that you’re learning something from this transformation. It doesn’t have to be so ‘hard’. You simply cannot grow unless you allow yourself to evolve through anything and everything.

I came across this song recently and it sparked something in me. Because there’s a lot of things I’m hoping for right now. But what I’m also learning to develop is the kind of patience and passion to allow myself to simply BE, to simply LOVE and to simply eat Maccas and belly laugh in a cab ride.

It’s not a habit that can change overnight, but it is something you can choose in any given moment.

And I suggest you try it too.