Cabby Conversations

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Have you ever started a conversation with a cab driver? I guess only a few would say yes. As for me, it’s very seldom that I would start a conversation with a cab driver but when I do, it’s usually out of boredom or to keep myself awake. Don’t think that I’m being a snob or anything, it’s just that most of the time I would prefer just sitting there and enjoying the ride than talking (out of stress, perhaps? Hehe). And don’t assume that drivers don’t know how to strike a good conversation. Heck, some of them are the best conversationalists that I’ve ever met! Even better than some degree holders I know (kidding!!). But seriously, ask them and they can give you an instant dissertation of current events, politics, showbiz as well as other people’s lives.

Anyway, this is an account of some of the most unforgettable and attention-grabbing discussions I’ve had with taxi drivers. I cannot, however, recall the dates when these took place. But before I proceed, there’s one important detail that I would like to point out — I don’t usually start chatting with cabbies because oftentimes it’s them who start talking first. Hehehe.

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Cabby #1: It was kinda late when I went out of the office. It was drizzling and there were no jeeps or buses so I decided to take a cab. A few minutes later, I was in an old, almost worn-out cab. The driver looked snooty and impatient. Anyway, traffic was a bit heavy so we’ve had time to talk. first, he told me that he was planning to sell the cab a maybe buy a new one because it’s getting harder to maintain. Cost is too high and so on. Then he proceeded to tell me how Pasay looked like some years ago – vast tracts idle land, not much development, very little traffic. Now, he said, it’s totally different (I would expect so).

“Ilan taon ka na, hijo? Malamang wala ka pang thirty, ‘no?” he asked me.

“Wala pa po. 27 pa lang,” I answered back.

He told me that he’s been a cab driver for 30 or so years, said he used to wait around ermita , manila for foreigners during the days when the red light district of the area was very much aglow.

“Ako, sa tingin mo ilang taon na,” he asked me once more.

“56?” I replied

“Hahaha! Ililibre na kita nyan. Binobola mo yata ako e.”

“Bakit po?” I asked innocently.

“79 na ako, hijo” he confessed.

I was shocked. First, because he doesn’t look at all like 79 years old. Yup, that’s 79 years old. No joke. He said he takes care of his health really well, quit smoking several years back and occasional drinking. Second, because I believe that people should be retired and resting when they hit, maybe, 65 years. I found out that he has a wife but they don’t have a child. I think it sounded sad but it didn’t seem to bother him so I guess he and his wife are contented. By the way, he used to work with a bank and he had a brother who’s a retired General. Cool.

“Dito na lang tayo sa loob para hindi tayo mahuli,” he said.

“Salamat, manong. Penge na lang po 30.”

Cabby #2: One of the funniest drivers I have ever met. Going straight to the story, the guy is having an affair with one of his clients. I cannot clearly remember how his story started but I reckon it began with him telling me about his “circle” of loyal customers who would always text him whenever they need to go somewhere for an errand. Anyway, his story focused on this lady whom he said has three kids and whose husband has been working abroad for like ten years or so.

“Ganda nya, parang wala pang anak. At sexy pa rin,” he muttered. I think I know where the story’s heading.

“Ayos pala e,” I answered back, oblivious of what I really said.

“Text-text lang kami nung una, then nagkayayaan. Tapos yun, may nangyari. Hehe.
Sabik e. Ngayon regular kami nagkikita,”
he finally admitted their affair.

“Namimiss na raw kasi nya,” he said as if trying to justify their actions.

Funny how some people could be very loose for the sake of pleasure. A married woman with teenage children whose husband is working like a slave abroad…I dunno. Don’t argue by telling me that women have as much (and as equal) rights as men. I think she should just focus on more important things like taking care of their investments, their kids and stuff like that. Talking about the kids, I hope they don’t discover what their mother is doing.

Anyway, back to the driver. He proceeded to graphically describe to me what they usually do and how he would take this Chinese herbal concoction to make him last longer.

“Nakakatatlo ako pag uminom ako,” he proudly said. As for me, I think it sounded sick.

To make the lady happier, he uses this mentholated lubricant which he said is really good in making the girls go gaga. “Parang mababaliw,” he said laughing. Now, that made me laugh as well especially when he described how they would squirm (“they” because he also uses the gel on his wife). He proceeded to tell me some more stories that I couldn’t recall much because I wasn’t really listening anymore. Some were amusing while some were almost repulsive. In general, I felt that a few more minutes of conversation with this guy and I would’ve gone lunatic myself. Thank goodness, at last, we were in Philcoa.

“Dyan lang po sa McDo,” I said as I hurriedly gave him the payment and went out of his car. At least he thanked me for the tip.

“Salamat,” I replied automatically.

Cabby #3: Manong cab driver is like a political-showbiz talk show host. His story went like this: He is regularly contracted by his gay friend who’s also a pimp (aka someone who manages the bookings/schedules of prostitutes).

“San pinakamalayo nyo napuntahan?” this time, I began the conversation.

“Pangasinan. Kontrata yun, galing abroad,” he answered with boredom.

“Madalas ba kayo ma-kontrata?” I pressed on.

“Hindi naman. Pero may isa ‘kong regular,” he replied

“Ganun, san yun?” I asked, a bit intrigued.

“Prend ko na bading. May mga hawak na babae yun. Madalas kontratahin nya ko papunta sa (name of province down south of Luzon). Kliyente nya kasi mayor dun,” he wantonly revealed.

Whew, I almost couldn’t say anything for like five seconds or more. I couldn’t help but suspiciously think that the good mayor is spending local government funds for his own personal fun. I mean, no one can deny the fact that he has constituents who are subsiding on meager provisions while he is basking in the company of his pretty lover. On the one hand, I’m not too surprised with the story because it’s not something new. It’s just a bit alarming because the money could’ve been used for something more
productive. But then again, I could be wrong. The mayor might be decent enough not to use for himself his people’s funds.

Anyway, I kept quiet most of the time, just answering some of the questions Manong might ask and agreeing (or disagreeing) with his comments and observations.

“McDo lang tayo, manong,” I said and gave him the payment with the customary Salamat.

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There you go. Three “interesting” stories collected from three cab drivers. I think I have some other cabby stories to share, I just cannot remember them all. I’ll do another post when I recall these anecdotes.

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