Sunday, June 18, 2006

taxi drivers, you wacky things!

Despite the best efforts of my travel agent, I’m BACK in the Philippines. It was pretty hard to leave – I had a brilliant week with people I’ve missed rather a lot. But, here I am, sweating my arse off in the tropics after 8 days in the frigid Melbourne winter (which I rather enjoyed, mind you; for both novelty value and the non-sweat experience).

I realize that, of all society’s subgroups, taxi drivers are supposed to be a rich source of crackpot theories. The following approximation of a conversation I had with a Melbourne taxi driver between the airport and W’s work on June 9 is therefore quite possibly unremarkable – but it is with pleasure that I recount it.

Taxi driver: What do you do in the Philippines?

Me: work at a place that researches rice.

A little more chitchat, then…

Taxi driver: Do you research nanotechnology?

Me (thinking he meant biotechnology): Uh…there’s a bit of research on biotechnology, but not all that much.

Taxi driver: Because, you know, if you cut a rice grain up into particles one millionth of its size, they spontaneously combust.

Me: Really?!

Taxi driver: Yep. It’s the same with aluminium.

Me: Wow. I didn’t know that.

Taxi driver: Yep, they’re going to power spaceships with it.

Me: Wow.

I also enjoyed the chat with the taxi driver – a softly spoken chap who seemed both genuinely nice and slightly creepy – who took me to the airport on Saturday morning. Upon learning I was living in the Philippines, he asked me if there was trouble there.

Me: There’s trouble in a few areas, but generally it’s fine. I’ve never felt in danger in 3 years there.

Taxi driver (clearly ignoring what I’d just said): Hmm. All those machetes.

Yep, those funny little people from funny little countries in Asia sure do run around hacking people up with machetes. And I couldn't be sure there wasn't a glint in his taxi driver eyes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sure didnt crack out in a sweat when wading into the ocean you big wuss.


8:41 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.

12:32 am  

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