Posted on Facebook on August 12, 2013
Yesterday I had the following conversation with a cab driver in Seattle, WA:
Driver: so where have you come from?
Me: New York. It’s been a long flight, and I am dead tired.
Driver: Do you live in New York?
Me: Not any more, I used to. I lived there for 12 years teaching in a university .
Driver: We’ll soon be in your hotel. But tell me, where are you originally from?
Driver: Well, that’s a beautiful country. But tell me, do you still have these pyramids?
Me: Last time I checked, yes we do.
Driver: So what do you do back there, in Egypt I mean?
Me: As I said, I am a university professor. I teach Middle Eastern history.
Driver: That’s great. But tell me, this Middle East, it’s interesting, isn’t it? What has been happening there lately?
Me: Many things. Lately, many revolutions.
Driver: Yes yes, But tell me before then what else has been happening there?
Me: You mean Palestine and the Israelis?
Driver: Yes, how did that end?
Me: It didn’t. It’s still going on.
Driver: I see. But tell me, when you used to teach in New York, did you also teach Middle Eastern history?
Me: Yes, I did.
Driver: To Americans?
Me: Yes, mostly.
Driver: Well, they are ignorant, these Americans, aren’t they?
Me: Well, we all are. Where are you from?
Driver: India, five hours north of Delhi. But tell me, what brings you here? Business or pleasure?
Me: Pleasure, pure pleasure. I came here to listen to opera.
Driver: That’s interesting. When will you do that?
Me: Well, it’s over four nights throughout this coming week.
Driver: Really, four nights? that’s interesting. So you will listen to four interviews?
Me: No interviews. I am here for pleasure not work.
Driver: No, I know, I mean these interviews she will be having. Are you going to all of them?
Me: Who is she?
Driver: Oprah. Didn’t you say you are here to listen to Oprah interviewing people.
Me: No I am here to listen to Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
Driver: Is that one of her guests?
Me: I see we have already arrived. It was very nice talking to you.
Driver: Yes, nice talking to you. Enjoy your stay.
Me: I am already enjoying it, thank you.