Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Stepping into a different world is an arms-length away

Throughout the city, portals to a different place and different time appear and disappear in constant flux. Limited time, money and status does not prevent anyone from access. It’s as close as stepping into a taxi.

Even the shortest ride is an opportunity to be immersed in an unfamiliar culture. The foreign nationals that drive cabs in many US cities these days offer an insider's view to a very different way of life. Whether it's a memory from childhood in Kenya where people walked non-stop for days on end to reach a far flung village, an account of witchcraft from Senegal which is believed to give the protected invincibility to mortal threats, or recollections of a time when Nigeria decided to change which side of the road to drive on and allowed its citizens an opportunity to practice the day before the switch took place, these stories connect passengers to the color and humanity of an experience thousands of miles away from their lives. How wonderful to have that possibility each day no further away than an outstretched arm.

No comments: