Friday, February 01, 2008

It's a multi-cultural commute!

There's a big snow storm in TO today. They're advising that everyone stay off the roads if they can. Since I still have to get to work, my solution to this problem is to leave my car, and all that insurance liability, at home and take a cab to work. So, this morning, I got dressed for the elements, called a cab and went outside to shovel some snow until it arrived.
When I got in the cab, my driver was chatting on his cell phone in a language I didn't recognise with a CD hanging from the rearview mirror with Arabic writing on it. The heater in the cab was cranked to 5 million degrees and I started to feel almost immediately that I was going to doze off. But it also got me thinking.
(Now, I don't want to start anyone bitching about cab drivers or immigration, because I'm a big supporter of immigration and I'm greatful to our cab drivers for doing a very dangerous and difficult job. And if anyone says anything that even hints at racism in my comment section I will delete it.)
It just occurred to me how funny it is that almost every single cabbie in Toronto is from a warm weather country and how silly it is that they're the ones who are on the road getting us around 24/7 in hail, sleet and snow. Driving a cab is often the first job an immigrant gets when they come here, and these guys probably never in their lives had to drive in, or even experience, these kinds of conditions before they came here. So it's really a pretty ridiculous situation when I, who grew up here, and learned to cope with these conditions from when I was a little kid, is depending on a guy who has probably been here less than a year to get me around in bad weather. I read recently that the weather condition that causes the most traffic accidents worldwide is sandstorms.
Sometimes, in fair weather I get frustrated with the cabbies for how carelessly they often drive, but on days like today I appreciate the hell out of them and their 5 million degree heaters.


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