Sonu the Taxi Man

After work on Friday I needed to take a taxi home because my driver was on vacation. I go to the nearby taxi stand where the drivers hang out all day laughing and telling jokes. I tell them where I need to go and after arguing among each other, a driver gets up and motions me to go with him. We get to the car and he says “AC or non-AC.” I told him non-AC, because that saves me 50 Rupees (one dollar…). Then we get in and take off for my apartment.

Usually, in an attempt to not get ripped off, I’m very friendly with taxi drivers and I make sure to use some Hindi to build rapport. When I asked him how his day was going in Hindi, he responded in perfect English “It’s all good. What’s up with you?” I was in awe. Most taxi drivers rarely speak English, let alone with a crystal clear accent.

Turns out he had worked in a call center for 7 years selling Dish TV. During that time, he had extensive language training and also tried to mimic the callers he had. Then he got a little carried away with his friend Mr. Alcohol, and life took a different direction for him. He proudly told me he was 4 years sober and working his way back up.

Since he had such a good grasp of English and had a lot of experience speaking with foreigners, I asked him what his favorite American saying was. He thought about if for a second, and then said “Well, I think ‘Fuck You’ would have to be my favorite.” It is a popular one.

Before I got out of his cab, he insisted I take down his cell phone number. This was in case I needed anything or if anybody was giving me trouble. His name was about 6 syllables, but he told me to call him “Sonu the Taxi Man.” Always good to be friendly with people. Never know who they can be.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 26th, 2013 at 4:50 am and is filed under India. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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