All people are looking for, is a little respect and recognition.
Our Los Angeles shuttle driver looked bemused, after we had greeted our hotel porter, in Spanish.
“I thought you guys were from South Africa. Where did you learn Mexican?” He asked.
“Right here, in LA.”
“How long have you been here”, he asked.
“Well, that is incredible! I’ve been here 45 years, and you know more than I do.”
As we travelled down the road, we spoke of our journey through the USA, and how a little respect had built some great friendships.
When we arrived in New York we boarded our first taxi, to our hotel. We asked the driver where he was from and what his name was. “Hamid” – he said, “and I am from Morocco. Where you from?”
“As salaamu alaikum Hamid.”
“Wailakum as salaamu.” he responded.
We greeted and got to know each other, as we travelled through the busy New York traffic. He told us how long he had been in New York, where his family was other really personal info. We asked for his phone number, so that we could call when we needed him.
The next morning, Arthie phoned him. “Ah, the South Africans”, he said. And he was perfectly on time. Off we went to Macy’s. Upon our arrival, we asked what the fare was. “Twenty dullah,” he said, “You are on vacation.”
Hamid became our friend, and our guide. He only charged us $20 per trip. He would be there at night and in the morning. We respected him and he respected us. We learnt so much about this very private man as he did about us. How many other people have had their own private New York Taxi driver?
Pat, our Irish American, taxi driver nodded and shook his head. He had never heard of that before – “New York taxi drivers are renowned for their focus on money, not on people. That is amazing!”
“And there is more ,” I told Pat. “When we were in Las Vegas, our taxi driver was our witness at our wedding!” We looked at each other and laughed.
“No way!” said Pat, “tell me about it!”
Arthie took up the story, “As we left Flamingo Casino, we decided to get married again. The Concierge stepped up, and asked if we needed a taxi. He was quite shocked when we told him that we needed to find a chapel. He asked the taxi driver, if he could do it. The taxi driver nodded, and in we got.”
Pat grinned, “And then you asked all about him, didn’t you?
Arthie laughed, “How’d ya know? How’d ya know?” He laughed and listened to her.
So, Jahed – who was from Iraq – called control. “You know that chapel downtown, you told me about? I need the address.” After a little time and some choice words, Jahed said. “I got it.”
A little later, we arrived at the Stained Glass Wedding Chapel. He switched off the taxi meter and joined us. A short lady, in a wig arrived. She was the minister. 5 minutes later we were wed, with Jahed as our witness.”
Pat laughed, his deep Irish laugh and shook his head!
Pat looked at us in the mirror, and said, “You guys are a true example to us all. You will never want for anything.” We thanked him.
Arthie and I have made friends and built relationships, around the World, simply by respecting other people.
4 simple tips to get more from your life.
1) Care More – Life is not only about you. Start to greet people, and treat people, in the way that they want to be greeted and treated. Learn their languages – do not demand to hear yours. Ask about them, talk far less of yourself.
2) Give More – Don’t be afraid to help others, be it by listening, caring and even sharing. Don’t always go with the “standard tip.” Look for ways that you can give, rather than seek ways to get. And you shall receive!
3) Love More – You are perfect as you are, however Life rewards action and not thought. When you really begin to like and accept who you are, in every way, then you are able to be more loving. When you love more – you are loved more.
4) Thank More – Live in a state of gratitude. Develop an “attitude of gratitude”, and the world will reward you.