Sunday, July 30, 2006

Taxi Driver to a whole new level!

When I first got to the beach I asked Ali, our driver, if he wanted me to call him later in the day to pick us up or something, since usually that's what cabbies do; they drop you off and head off to collect another fare. He laughed and gestured as he walked around the car, saying "no problem, no problem, I wait for you... today Friday, you my friend, no problem." After this, he summarily popped the trunk lid, grabbed a gallon of water, his towel, and a pair of shorts and took off for the beach saying "Come. Come. I find good spot!"

Later in the day he told me, in his broken english, that when he takes his three kids and wife to the beach, he doesn't get to relax and just enjoy himself because he has to watch for his family and make sure they are ok. He really enjoyed the chance to be with adults and just have fun.

When we returned, I asked him how much we owed him, fully expecting almost a one hundred dollar cab fare for the day. Amazingly, he patted me on the back and told me "Tommy my friend. Today, no work. Today for friends." We paid him a good amount anyway, simply because he was away from his family all day, but he was really and truly going to let us off for free, all in the name of having a good time with American friends.

Another shining example of the Libyan culture. These people are gracious to a fault!

Ali joins us for the day.

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