Sunday, November 29, 2009

A cab driver's confession

From Southern Weekly’s review section page F 29, 26.11.2009

Saturday around noon, when taking a cab to take care of some stuff, I discovered that there were traffic jams everywhere. The driver said that you can’t make a living on driving nowadays: Every day he has to turn over 160 Yuan to the taxi company and pay more than 100 for gas, so when traffic is like this it’s equal to not taking on passengers at all. Looking around there were cars waiting all over the place, we just sat in the car dawdling the time away.

The driver was more than 50 years old and seemed very kind, yet his face was brimmed with helplessness, worry and apathy. As the road was jammed, he put his hands on the steering wheel and said to me (in an old Guiyang accent): “Miss, sometimes, when there’re no passengers, sitting in this car, looking at the traffic jam, I really feel like ending this life”. He often felt like there wasn’t any hope in his life…

The ride, which originally would have been around 10 minutes, ended up being more than 40 minutes long. I thought the fare would be crazy, but when I got off, I realized, to my surprise, that it was only 20 Yuan.

Gao Dongmei – Manager in a bookstore in Guiyang

This translation was made for information purposes only. The views expressed in the article are that of the author and her alone.


Ole Chr said...

Since the context is unfamilliar to me and not knowing which city the Southern Weekly covers, I'm still unsure what city the scene is taken from. Though its apparent to me that this is probably the case in many large cities in China.

Think it's a really sad story, especially the helplessness the taxidriver must feel.

André Holthe said...

Guiyang (贵阳) is the capital of Guizhou (贵州) province.

However, as you say, it could have been anywhere in China.