We flagged him down from the hotel entrance for about 3 minutes. He insisted we walked to him, instead of him to drive towards us like all the other cabs we had taken this weekend. He wasn’t very friendly, the cab smelled of BO and his seats were ripped and unkempt.
“We’re trying, you have shit all over your seats,” I replied before he tossed a lysol wipe to the back of the seat. Why? I don’t know because what I was attempting to remove had clearly been there for a few weeks.
“Did you get it?” He grumbled from the driver seat.
“No, look we’re in a rush, we can just go, we’re fine back her, I promise.” Shrugging his shoulders, he proceeded towards our destination.
Now it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t irritated with the whole ordeal, this was the first taxi driver in Chicago that had been stand offish and down right rude. There was no conversation, he didn’t seem to understand that we were in a rush, and his body odor coupled with opened windows was quite consuming.
When we finally reached Allyu Spa, just in time for our appointment, the three of us combined our leftover ones from the previous evening, paying for the ride and giving him a tip.
“Wait! Wait!” he yelled as he counted the money. My first thought was if this bastard complains about the $3 tip, I’m about to cuss his ass out. But then he continued with, “You gave me too much money! It was only $8.”
He extended his hand back to return the extra money.
“It’s your tip sir,” my friend and I explained.
The look of shock on his face made me want to cry. “Tip? Oh wow, my goodness. Thank you. Thank you so much. You ladies have a blessed day. Thank you so much.”
The shock he displayed was candid. His gratitude was so sincere. And I felt guilty for being slightly upset with him the entire ride. I’ve never met anyone so grateful for something so little, and be absolutely genuine about it.
After two hellish weeks at work, I managed to escape to Chicago for the long weekend with a few strands of my sanity and patience. Every year, a group of us from my Alma Mater (and now some other friends) choose a state to meet up. Chicago was our choice picking this year, and it was nothing short of amazing. We kept it simple with a few nights of ridiculousness coupled with a relaxing spa day. Simple. That was the theme of the weekend. Simplicity and Gratitude.
Our meet ups are often difficult to plan. We jam-pack the weekend with ratchet behavior and catch up sessions. A few arguments take place but a whole lot of love is shown and by the end of these trips, I typically take my solo flight home tearful that I will have to wait another year to be surrounded by the friends I only get to interact with via a groupme chat or skype session.
I’d cry because I truly missed having this connection close by. I’d cry because for the life of me, NYC didn’t feel like home. Being alone in New York felt ten times worse after a trip like this, and that plane ride home would force me to think about the decision I made to ‘escape’ my comfort zone.
But this year was different. And I believe it was different simply because of that cab driver.
I’m so grateful for the life I live, with all the bumps and ditches I continuously hit along my path. I can honestly say the people within my life, the people I can call friends, are golden. They’re treasures. They’re my good karma. And though some days I can’t see the good, there is good, wherever it may be and whatever shape it may come in.
Thank you ladies, & thank you Chicago.0