NYC Taxicab confessionals

Tonight, on my way home, I grabbed a taxi from the west village back to Brooklyn.  About to emerge from the Battery Tunnel, I asked the driver to get in the far right lane, which is necessary to take the first exit and pick up the BQE East.  Not surprisingly (for any frequent NYC taxi rider), he missed the turn-off and had to pull a multi-lane change in front of a cop in order to take the exit we needed.  For a moment, I became upset and raised my voice, before realizing that the taxi driver had matters under control.  Afterwards, feeling guilty about my behavior, I  struck up a conversation with the driver - something I like to do anyway - that lasted the rest of the ride.  It turns out this young man is in the U.S. studying graphic/multi-media video game programming.  He is a Pakistani who grew up in Saudi Arabia and also lived in Sydney for four years.  His father runs a business in Australia that offered a cushy life for him, but he chose to come to the U.S. to chart his own course.   I wouldn't be  surprised if this guy is running a hot videogame startup in a few years.  Its a cliche, but one I still take for granted sometimes: it pays to treat everyone we encounter with the utmost dignity and respect, always trying to give the benefit of doubt....even when they screw up and make a wrong turn.

By Josh Guttman

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