When a taxi driver talks about ambitions and dreams…and asks you “What do you want to be if you can choose?” you know that you’re in for a memorable ride.
How often do I get to have life-changing conversations with two complete strangers while being stuck in a traffic jam? Not very often.
So when I shared a cab with a a 20-year old Sarawakian stranger and found myself enjoying a conversation with him and the taxi driver, a realisation struck me. Great conversations need not necessarily be deep and profound. It need not happen amongst friends. What is required is a common mindset (we were all in the mood to gab) and the right setting (we were stuck in a jam- what else were we going to do to kill time?).
Mostly, we made fun of the gaudy string lights in KL. Talked about why we don’t really watch TV. And we spoke about our dreams. Which prompted the driver to throw us a question. “What do you want to do if you can choose?” the driver asked. The Sarawakian answered first, his voice without a hint of doubt. He said,”Musician. Guitarist.” He looked at me. It was my turn. “A real writer. A very good one.” The words flew right of my mouth. The taxi driver capped it off with his answer. “Painter.” It sounded like a shy confession.
The ride will remain one of the most unforgettable ones I’ve ever had. It almost makes up for the bad b.o and nasty breath I had to endure on most of my previous taxi rides. Almost.