Riding with Strangers

>> Monday, September 17, 2007

A few weeks ago, I started to ride the bus. I avoided it for good enough reasons--I didn't know the routes and it didn't look comfortable since it was full most of the time. But my cash was depleting faster than the ozone layer so I swallowed my pride, marched to the long line which pretty much became an informal free-for-all wrestling match on desperate humid nights, and found out that riding Qatar's public transport wasn't as bad as I thought, especially if you have Elton John's Tiny Dancer on loop during the ride.

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It turned out that I can get a bus from the office direct to the end of Corniche, where I frequently go to anyway, and save 12 QRs - just enough for cafe latte at nearby Costa Coffee.

Going home was a risk though. Since I usually go out late at night, there's no way I can get a bus back to the office because the last bus leaves at 11pm. This means I'll have to take the cab, but, for some reason, all Karwa taxis disappear after 2 or 3 am. There's another alternative: private cars that moonlight as cabs. But this is tricky because you never know who's the driver or the pervert.

At around 2:30 am last weekend, a guy, probably in his late 40s driving an old SUV stopped beside me and asked if he could give me a lift somewhere. Pervert, I thought. I was certain about this because his longing eyes were short of a wink to be officially flirtatious, more so because it was his second time to stop and I pretended I didn't see him the first time that he did.

But I looked at the time and I knew this was my chance to go home. I asked him how much he'll charge me for the fare just to make sure he understood that I needed a ride and not an orgasm. He laughed it off and told me it's free.

"Where are you from?" he asked "Philippines," I said "and you?"


"I've recently found out that pure Lebanese people are Catholic, is that true?"

He made the sign of the cross and smiled "Well, 50% of pure Lebanese, probably. What's your job?"

"I'm a secretary. You?"

"An engineer."

"I thought so. Engineers have a way of dressing up. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to ask your name. I'm Jake," I lied.

"I'm Basil," he probably lied.

After a few roundabouts, the conversation became interesting and sensible. Small talk about family, work and fate. Small talk but talk nonetheless. And how I missed talking.

When we were near my office, I told him if there's anything I can do to repay him. I was hinting at shawarma or cold drinks beside the office, anything to keep the good company and conversation longer. He said no as he would hope that somebody would give him a free ride in the future should the need arise. Good man. Great heart. And he believes in Karma, too.

I asked him to stop a block away from the office. I told him thank you again and found myself stalling as I put on my headphones, all the while looking at him, this time with my longing eyes, to which he softly replied: You're welcome, good luck on your journey. Now you might wanna get out now so I can go home. (And that's why I believe in Karma).OUT

9 responses:

f i l l i b u s t e r o 20 September, 2007  

thanks for mentioning tiny dancer.
and heck i thought it would be a joyride. *tiny inconspicuous wink*

pablo 21 September, 2007  

wow! you just reawakened bad memories of watching Rutger Hauer in the slasher flick The Hitcher which I watched when I was a young pup.

Fucking adrenaline rush man!

Jap 21 September, 2007  

FILL, thought so too, until it was too late and too awkward =)

PABLO, you have bad memories over an 80's slasher flick? LoL! you should watch Death Proof or Planet Terror and finally see that B-movies are supposed to be funny hehehe

intsik 22 September, 2007  

hahahahahahahahah japitoy! elton's tiny dancer is good music. heheheheheh

yogs, abi ko bang-bang na! hehehehe

buot kas man gali ah so no chance at all!

Annamanila 24 September, 2007  

Interesting encounter! And you suspected him of being a pervert! :)

HRHMax 24 September, 2007  

So if he turned out to be receptive to the longing glances, would you have given in to the seduction and allure of a stranger? ;P

-your married gal pal wanting to live vicariously through your adventures

Jap 24 September, 2007  

INTSIK, I'm usually easy to get but I don't know what happened there hehehe must be my questions. I actually asked him if his wife is doing alright =)

ANNA, he was. But then they say it takes one to know one hahaha

MAXIE, are you kidding? Of course I would hehehe we are in the mideast after all =) i'm not too sure that i'm the only one having adventures though hahaha hala intriga hehehe =)

aryo 26 September, 2007  

Am never gonna try that in the Philippines. Baka chop-chop ang abutin ko. :-)

Jap 29 September, 2007  

ARYO, in Pinas, I think the driver will be more scared to pick up hitchhikers, baka siya ang ma-chopchop hehehe

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