Freaking Out Squares

Friday, August 18, 2006

Taxi Driver (You Talkin' to Me?)

I hailed a cab driver today with the name Malik Sadiq. No, I'm not going to go all Mike Royko here and make fun of the dude's name, but I did find it a tad amusing.

Usually, I don't mind making small talk with a cab driver. When the cab driver is listening to Air America, we're guaranteed a pleasant twenty minutes or so of Bush-bashing and Cheney-hating before I arrive at my destination. When they start asking me about my (nonexistent) boyfriend, I tell them about a friend of mine in the Bronx, who is six-one and looks like a biker. He's a real person, but he is not, alas, my boyfriend, although he's cool with my claiming he is in order to prevent cab drivers and skeevy dudes on the subway from hitting on me. (He's also not really a biker--he just plays one on TV, so to speak.) Malik Sadiq was not listening to Air America, nor did he hit on me, but I was too exhausted to talk. So he pretty much left me alone until we landed on the Queens side of the 59th Street Bridge, at which point he says to me, "I don't like your culture. Oooookaaayyyy...and what might that mean, Malik Sadiq? I don't much like my culture either, if what you're referring to involves "American Idol" and Bud Lite and thirty-second rutting encounters with pink frat boys. Is that what you mean?

It was not. "Women in my country do not work like here," he says. "They work in girls' schools; they are nurses in hospitals. They do not work in shops. They are not police officers. Men work. Women are wives. They stay home and take care of the children."

Had this been a pink frat boy at an Upper East Side Irish pub telling me a loud, fat chick like me was never gonna get any better than he, pumping away at my intimate parts and groaning, I would have loudly and fatly told him he was a sexist prick whilst dumping a keg of Bud Light on his filthy white baseball cap. Because my cab driver was Pakistani, and I was hauling a week's worth of groceries from Whole Foods in Chelsea, I refrained from mentioning the Pakistani girl I once heard about who had the temerity to marry the man she loved and is now forced to live on the lam because her father and male cousins are trying to kill her. Instead, I said, "Well, I wouldn't mind not working..." to which Malik Sadiq let emerge a hearty chuckle. "You are tired," he affirmed.

Will someone please tell me, once and for all, what "cultural sensitivity" means? Does it mean keeping quiet when someone brags about women in his native country knowing their place? Because let me tell you, I feel like a real bigot just recounting this incident. Parents, do not send your kids to small liberal arts schools. They will graduate with nothing but a useless degree and a sneaking suspicion that they might be the next David Duke.


Blogger Sarito said...

"Cultural Sensitivity" means (1)noticing the guy on the subway platform who's twitching and muttering to himself... and (2)knowing that it's better to keep a safe distance than to ask him if he's taking his meds.

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