Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Taxi Cab Confessions

I love talking to Sapporo taxi drivers.

Perhaps it's the anonymity of it all, or the fact that I usually take a taxi because I've missed the last train after having an awesome night out with friends and I'm in a talkative mood.  Either way, when I step into that taxi, all inhibitions about my terrible Japanese fly out the window and I just start talking.

It's never incredibly deep conversations.  They ask me where I'm from and how long I've been here, and I ask them how long they've been a taxi driver.  We talk about family and Sapporo.  My most favorite conversations are when I ask them what they did before they were taxi drivers.  I've had construction workers, jieitai (Japan self-defense force), and - my most favorite of all - enka singer.

I guess being a taxi driver can be kind of a lonely life - always driving around people you don't know and meeting hundreds of people a night for just a brief moment.  When the 20-minute ride from Susukino to Sumikawa is over, and we pull up in front of my apartment, they always tell me that they enjoyed talking with me.  We shared a brief destination together, and then they drive off into the night.

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