cab drivers are my favorite

today i got in a cab from the oakland airport, feeling guilty for taking the cab, and jetlagged and like i was carrying too much. i looked at the airbart shuttle for a while, and then decided to treat myself.

almost every time i take a cab, i get into a conversation with the cab driver. recent conversations have included railing about airport security, talking about love, talking about family. mostly though, its about politics. these conversations are among the rare times when politics doesn’t feel like people playacting on a stage (this may sound hypocritical from someone who can’t stop watching Beyonce’s Single Ladies video, but I like when my performers call themselves Sasha Fierce and do Fosse, not write policy).

i learn a lot. cab drivers who started life outside these borders have taught me more about pakistan, somalia, senegal, brazil, saudi arabia and iraq than i’ve ever learned from news or history class. i keep meaning to write it up somewhere.

today my cab driver was super friendly, asked me about the holidays, then quickly got to talking about obama’s security team. he said it was a shame that people in america didn’t stay informed, when so much was happening as a result of us. policy in other places.

overall he felt the security team selections were good, hillary seemed like a good choice. this led him to rail about the ridiculousness of sarah palin, and we debriefed the campaigns a bit. but overall, he said, any changes would be well received around the world. he was so excited by how many countries celebrated obama’s win, and i told him my theory – that election night was the largest simutaneous moment of celebration we’ve ever had in the world, since people were able to access the information internationally instantaneously.

i said i hoped people saw it as a beginning, not an end – that politics can’t solve all our problems.

he said it wasn’t the politics that mattered…”politics are a dirty game.” what mattered was the hope, that people needed hope to get through this dark moment. his analysis was so astute, so much better than any morning talk show. moments like that remind me that people are awake and paying attention.

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