Ever wanted eavesdrop on the semi-private conversations had by your cabbie in a language that you don't understand? The New York Post had a reporter who speaks Punjabi and Urdu (the two dominant languages spoken by the 38% of cabbies who hail from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) listen in. It turns out they gossip, are wary of their superiors, and bitch about taxes. Cabbies—they're just like us!
Here are some gems from the front seat:
- On St. Patrick's Day: “If someone is going to throw up in the cab, my night will be over. I am going to be very picky today and very careful before picking up a passenger."
- "Times Square today is crazy! Did you file your taxes? You need to take care—a lot of people are receiving audit notices these days. I am going to take off from work on Monday."
- "These days, the availability of the cab is a big problem. Many drivers want to work, but the [taxi] brokers don’t have the cars. Oh, yes, brokers are sucking the blood of the drivers. OK, I am going to the deli, come by and see me over there."
- "He is already married, but now he has a girlfriend in the US, too. His wife was suspicious, and one day she found a picture on the computer, and now it’s a big mess in their life. I think he got married to her. It’s not Bangladesh, it’s America—you can’t have a wife if you have one already."
- "TLC people are standing on Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street and all the way up. He has lost the bet, now you people have to give me a treat."
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the reporter ever translated what was said when he climbed into a cab with a date at midnight. We would have loved a "That fool in the back has spinach in his teeth and his fly is undone. I'll let his date figure it out."