Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Syrian

Well yesterday was my day off. You need one every so often to stay sane.
Tonight (wednesday) started off slow. I picked up a guy at Victoria station and he couldn't speak a word of English. He had a sim card on him and wanted to put it in my phone to get an address off it. I thought he wanted to run off with my phone (the fact that he had 2 cases never swayed my thoughts). The chip never worked in my phone so in the end he used my phone to ring someone. He handed me the phone and another poor Enghlish speaker gave me an address in Southall, West London. Once on the way my passenger was eager to practice his English on me and amongst other things I established that he was from Syria and had gotten out of that country as the situation there is deteriorating by the day. He kept saying "Syria, very bad" over and over. Then he asks me if he can use my phone again and I agreed, thinking I'll be reimbursed at the end of the trip. He dialed four or fiver numbers and spoke to each of them for a good while. When we arrived at his destination the meter clicked over to £40. I thought to myself "it's got to be at least £50 he's gonna give me". He promptly produced 2 crisp £20 notes and disappeared into the house leaving me despairing about the cheek of some people. That turned out to be the best ride of the night but there were one or two other decent rides.
On my nightly visit to Tesco to get my daughters packed lunch there was a guy pleading with the shop asisstant to be let off a few pennies as he was short but the asisstant was having none of it. Cue my good deed for the day. I often help out people less fortunate than me as it makes me feel good about myself.