Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taxi Driver In a bad mood

The driver of our taxi earlier this afternoon was obviously in a bad mood. He did not use foul language but was grumbling continuously throughout the trip.

As soon as we got in the taxi he started complaining that everybody on the street seemed to be in a bad mood because of the financial crisis, that people had no patience at all and got angry at the drop of a hat, that it was understandable because the Hang Sang Index had dropped from 30,000+ points to 14,000 points, that everybody had lost money and kept on losing money, that people were afraid of losing their jobs, that people working for the government are the only ones whose jobs are safe but most people do not work for the government, that it was not helped by people predicting the worst was yet to come, that I did not seem sufficiently unhappy at this bad situation, that he had waited for an hour to get his taxi filled up with natural gas, that poor governmental policy was responsible for there being so few natural gas stations - hence he had to wait so long, that he had to drive a taxi because he lost his 20,000 dollar job as an office worker because his boss’s business was failing, that at 63 he could not get a job as a security guard because he could not get proper labor insurance, that at 63 he was not as strong as his younger competitors for the security guard jobs, that people were not hiring taxis because of the poor economic situation, that it was the end of his 12 hour shift and he had not earned any money after expenses were deducted, ... All these in a 15 minute taxi ride - amazing.

Surely it is not unusual to find taxi drivers in a bad mood. But the degree of suffering in the city is truly palpable, epitomized by his diatribe.

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