Wednesday, July 17, 2013

This Cab Ride Made Me Racist

It was Sunday.

The sun was shining, the palm trees were swaying in the wind, the advil was finally kicking in to rid myself of an awful hangover, and cheerful brunch plans were in order.

The place; Abigale's. Where $15 will get you endless mimosas and the Bloody Mary's will not only make you sweat last night's booze out of your pores, but bring a delightful smile to your face. My friends and I frequent this establishment. It has become a part of us and we of it. So much so, upon our arrival this past Sunday, the manager recognized us and handed us champagne on the house as we waited for our patio seating. We're kind of a big deal.

Now, despite this lovely setting, this really has nothing to do with my story.

Hermosa Pier is one of those places that parking runs for the hills on the weekends. So, rather than waste gas for a half hour, my roommate, Meg, and I decided to cab it.

It's a short cab ride, maybe 10 minutes long, and cheap too. The cab company Meg Googled then called notified us of their arrival. We walked outside to find an empty street. Confused, we call the cabby back. He's at the top of the hill on our one way street, hangs up abruptly when he sees us, then proceeds to throw the car in reverse for 300 feet.

It's an all black car with peeling white decal letters on the back window indicating it's an LA Express cab. Evey thing about this cab is already creepy. As we entered the vehicle, the driver asks if I'm the Turkish girl he picked up last night that was so in love with him. He proceeded to talk about how charming he is because he is Arabian. It took every ounce of my will power to hold back anything Aladdin related. I nervously laugh this off.

Within 10 minutes, the conversation hits these topics respectively; Habits of being American--getting married, having children, committing suicide (uh, what?), asking and judging our relationship choices, and, finally, trying to prove that our professed faith in God is actually Muslim.

It's important to note that he was incredibly aggressive about this conversation, as our cab ride was so short and he was touching on the most inappropriate topics. Unfortunately, my mind turned to a dark place. I was stereotyping this man wholeheartedly. Who picks up two strangers, talks about suicide and then tells them their beliefs make them Muslim, not in a joking manner? This man is totally the Jafar of Arabia.

We ended the cab ride by sitting the excruciating five minutes it took for the credit card to run through. However, before we could jump and claim Abigale's as our safe and paradise-like home base, he handed us his business card, cabby by day, friendly mediator by night.

Seriously, only in LA.

Thanks for soundin' down.

..........

A catechism ( /ˈkætəkɪzəm/; Ancient Greek: κατηχισμός from kata = "down" + echein = "to sound", literally "to sound down" (into the ears), is a summary or exposition of doctrine, traditionally used inChristian religious teaching from New Testament times to the present.[1] Catechisms are doctrinal manuals often in the form of questions followed by answers to be memorized, a format that has been used in non-religious or secular contexts as well