I seem to spend a lot of my time these days being driven some place or waiting to be driven someplace or waiting after I’ve been driven some place. I started writing this while waiting in the lobby of a Palestinian hotel in East Jerusalem to be driven to an event elsewhere in Jerusalem, where I talked to lots of people, after which I was driven to Tel Aviv.
I’m in cabs a lot, of course, but sometimes someone from the event picks me up, or in rare instances, when an event organizer is feeling really fancy, a limo. Once last year, I sat alone in the back seat of a stretch limo with twinkling lights along the mirrored ceiling that changed colors every few seconds. It’s only in those moments I feel inadequate for not having an entourage.
My arrival into the Tel Aviv airport was perhaps the oddest drive I’ve been on. The event organizers had arranged for a VIP entrance, as my previous arrival a few months back had been, well, rocky. Not so this time. I was met directly at the gate, then whisked down an elevator to a waiting SUV that brought me around the side entrance of immigration. Total time: less than three minutes.
Last night, our driver from the Amman airport to our hotel was the only woman taxi driver in Jordan. I didn’t get the impression that things were very easy for her, but she was bubbling over with joyousness. “Enjoy the moments”, she said.
In Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, one of my cab drivers was from Ethiopia, the other from Sri Lanka. The first had the typical taxi driver reaction to me, a study in contradiction. And in predicting my future. I spend too much time talking to cab drivers to ever need to visit a fortune teller. He couldn’t stop telling me about how I had the best job in the world and how lucky I was to be able to travel so much and be so unencumbered. And yet, where is my boyfriend, where is my husband, where are my children? I don’t have them, I explained.
But don’t I want children? Ah. No. He was positive I would change my mind. Maybe on this very trip I would meet someone. Maybe I would be pregnant sooner than I think! I didn’t go into the whole impossibility of the prediction. Drivers are always so sure of their visions in to the future, I’d hate to shake his confidence.
My latest trip, only moments ago, was being driven in a golf cart from the lobby of my hotel to my room. The driver did not tell me my fortune. Or about my future miracle pregnancies.