Jan 2020 09

“That man, the Iraninan General. He was a bad man, Andrew. And it is good he is gone.”

I have become that person. I talk to every Uber driver and cabbie about life and politics and real stuff as much as possible. It may affect my rating in bad ways, I dunno. But I do it. Because people are fascinating.

“But not like that”, he added. “Trump is just causing more problems.”

We talked about Iran and the situation in the middle east and puppet regimes. All kinds of things. Modern life.

“It’s hard to keep up with what is going on in the world”, I said. “Like, I’ve been in a meeting for a couple of hours. Did I miss anything? Did anything bad happen? Any more on that plane crash?”

We agreed it was terrible thing for the Iranian-Canadian community. And I thought about a man I bought a Persian rug from in Parkdale last year. He is Iranian, Persia as the region was historically called. The rug we picked out was the first thing I bought for my new apartment.

My driver was from Pakistan. He’s been here for 11 years. He goes back every year to spend time with family. It is a troubled region and has been for a long time. The relationship with India is complicated. I thought about how ‘Paki’ was a slur that was thrown around quite liberally in Rexdale when I was growing up. We didn’t know the context back then of how calling someone this who was from India was a huge insult to them, specifically. Words are less hateful when you are young. You are throwing dull knives, not understanding their power.

We both agreed that the world is becoming increasingly fucked – Australia, the Amazon, Iran, America, on and on and on.

And more than anything, we definitely agreed that we were lucky to be in Canada.

“Here, we can express ourselves however we want, Andrew. You and I we can be ourselves and for the most part know we will be safe.”

“Do you want to bring the rest of your family here?”

“I do. We are all working on it. I like Canada a lot. Not big problems. Just small ones. Here there are only the three double-yous as problems.”

“What do you mean, double-yous?” I wondered if he meant the worldwide web (WWW).

“The three Ws. The letter. I have trouble with them. First W – Work. This job is hard to make a living at. Second W – the Weather. (yes it was fucking cold last night). And the third W challenge here I am learning about… Women. I am trying to understand the women and meet one.”

“I was born here but I have the same challenge with all those Ws, too.” I said.

Our car wandered into Parkdale on the cold January night, and I got ready to scramble out. Somewhere there is a war waging. Somewhere there are crazy fires burning, killing things that will never come back. Somewhere there are people who are mourning loved ones killed in a mysterious plane crash.

I have small problems. The Ws. I’m lucky.

Yes, I have become that person. I talk to my drivers.