Speaking their Language

Languages I’ve made it a point to learn a few phrases in Spanish. Sometimes it seems like half of Marin County is Spanish-speaking. “Derecha aqui, senor?” is the one I use most often. Also,”El viaje costará 10 dólares, por favor” is a biggie. Not as much call for French (“Bienvenue sur mon cab”) and Italian (“come stai, gli italiani”), which I know a little. The young couple from Paris I drove last weekend to the L'Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires on Bush at Grant spoke fairly fast, but I understood enough to know they were on vacation and they wanted to go eat dim sum in Chinatown, right after. Taxis are as ubiquitous in the world as Starbucks. Which is why the reality show travelers on The Amazing Race depend so much on us. Every Sunday morning, I drive Millie, who was born in the Fiji islands to the San Rafael Mission Church. I always greet her with, “Bula Vinaka” ("Hello" and "Thanks")? I’m an immigrant myself (from Canada) and I’d appreciate a little native tongue from my taxi driver. Well, you know what I mean.

2 thoughts on “Speaking their Language

  1. Bill,
    I love hearing about your cab driving adventures.
    Did you read Willie Brown’s column in Sunday’s paper? He complained that he got in a cab and asked the guy to take him to City Hall and the guy didn’t know where City Hall was!

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