Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Taxi Stories

(originally published on Murder Is Everywhere)



When I go to China, I can always count on a couple of good taxi driver stories. Okay, I realize that taxi driver stories are kind of a cliche, but hey, Thomas Friedman has made a pundit fortune on them, so why not me?

Here's my first of the trip...

Story #1. BEIJING.

I needed to take a cab to get to the Beijing South Railway Station for a high-speed train to Shanghai. It's a long drive at best, in the far south of the city. Traffic across Beijing is generally pretty horrible (why I almost always opt for a subway), but I was leaving about noon for a 2:30 train, and I figured that time of day, it wouldn't be bad.

Wrong.

"Do you mind if I go a different way?" the cab driver asked me, meaning, not the typical direct route. "It's longer, but we'll get there faster."

Fine by me, I told him. You know better than I do.

I put him to be in his early forties, short, buzzed hair with only a little gray, tanned skin just starting to weather. We got to talking.

"You know what the problem with new Beijingers is?"

"You mean, waidiren?" People not born in Beijing. Migrants.

"Yes, waidiren. They aren't friendly. They don't really care about Beijing."

By this, I assumed that he had been born in Beijing, but I asked him anyway.

Yes, he was a Beijinger, he told me. Born and raised there. I've always enjoyed talking to Beijingers, because I was first in Beijing so long ago that I have some understanding of how drastically the city has changed. So we tend to have some things in common in spite of our differences, a memory of the city that the great majority of Chinese don't share.


We talked about a lot of things, some of them pretty typical: Are you married? Do you have children?

No, I told him.

"But why?" he asked me. "It's good to be married. My laobanr—" —basically, my old lady, my wife—"she is my best friend."

I gave him the usual answer. Life circumstances. You never know how things will work out. And so on. We talked more about family, about children, about age. About China versus America. The usual stuff.

"You know what the one of China's biggest problems is?" he said at one point. "Too many people."

This too is something that I've heard from a lot of taxi drivers. And no wonder. They're out there every day, trying to make a living driving through congested, smog-choked cities, where traffic laws tend to be more traffic suggestions, where there are just too many people in too many cars, and they aren't paid very much to do it.

You'll hear a lot of complaints from foreigners about Chinese taxi drivers, how they aren't friendly, how they'll rip you off, and I've had some of those experiences, but I've had more positive interactions than negative. This driver really knew his stuff. Suddenly we swooped onto a ramp that curved to the right, and there it was: the Beijing South Railway Station.

 "Bucuo!" I told him, impressed. "Really fast."

He grinned back. A guy who liked doing a good job.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good story---we have met some very interesting cabbies, with great stories to tell. Amazing how much you can learn about someone during the relatively short duration of a cab ride.

Anonymous said...

Read "Soft Sand Gold in Daytona" and "Vigilante Prison Supermax" by Gilbert S Lay- Amazon E-books -- Daytona Beach Taxi driver Jim Lacy also a retired intelligence officer saves America from civil war and eco-disaster.

Steve Finnell said...

THE PRICE OF TRADITION

A tradition that could cost you your salvation is the one that states that "for"(eis in Greek) in Acts 2:38 should have been translated, "because of."

Let us compare "for" (eis) found in Acts 2:38 and Matthew 26:28.

New American Standard Bible: Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


New American Standard Bible: Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.


Jesus did not shed His blood because the people already had their sins forgiven. Jesus shed His blood for (in order to) the remission of sins.


Those three thousand on the Day of Pentecost were not baptized in water because their sins were already forgiven. They were baptized for (in order to) the remission of their sins.


WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE THAT "EIS" SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED "BECAUSE OF" INSTEAD OF "FOR"?


How did the following translations translate "eis" in Acts 2:38?


NEW KING JAMES VERSION: Acts 2:38 ......for the remission of sins..


NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE: Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of your sins...


ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION: Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of your sins....


AMERICAN KING JAMES VERSION: Acts 2:38...for the remission of sins...


KING JAMES BIBLE: Acts 2:38....for the remission of sins...


THE BETTER VERSION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT by Chester Estes: Acts 2:38...in order to the remission of your sins...


THE AMPLIFIED NEW TESTAMENT: ...Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of and release from your sins....


THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MODERN ENGLISH by J.B. Phillips: Acts 2:38....so that you may have your sins forgiven....


NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION: Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of your sins.....


NEW LIVING TRANSLATION: Acts 2:38....for the forgiveness of your sins....


INTERNATIONAL STANDARD VERSION: Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of your sins...


ARAMAIC BIBLE IN PLAIN ENGLISH: Acts 2:38...for release from sin...


AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION: Acts 2:38...unto the remission of your sins...


DARBY BIBLE TRANSLATION: Acts 2:38...for remission of sins....


ENGLISH REVISED VERSION: Acts 2:38 ......unto the the remission of your sins....


WEBSTER'S BIBLE TRANSLATION: Acts 2:38...for the remission of sins....


WEYMOUTH NEW TESTAMENT: Acts 2:38 ...with a view to the remission of your sins...


WORLD ENGLISH BIBLE: Acts 2:38...for the forgiveness of sins....


YOUNG'S LITERAL TRANSLATION: Acts 2:38...to the remission of sins...


THE THOMPSON CHAIN-REFERENCE BIBLE (NIV): Acts 2:38...so that your sins may be forgiven...


There is no translation of the Bible that translates "eis" in Act 2:38 as "BECAUSE OF" NOR DOES "EIS" IN ACTS 2:38 MEAN "BECAUSE OF".


If 'eis" in Acts 2:38 meant "because of", it would have been translated as such.


The shed blood of Jesus is the reason we receive forgiveness from sins. We contact that blood after faith John 3:16-repentance Acts 2:38-confession Romans 10:9-10 and water baptism Acts 2:38. Water baptism is the point of contact. Water baptism is the last act of a sinner, it not the first act of a Christian.


THE PRICE OF TRADITION IS TOO HIGH IF IT PREVENTS YOU FROM ACCEPTING THE TRUTH!


YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

Other Lisa said...

All-righty, then!

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