Saturday, July 29, 2006
CABBY: The New Match.com (yikes!)?
Today started with brunch with a couple of friends at Sarabeth's on Central Park South and was followed by a trip to the MET where we checked out two special exhibitions. The first exhibit was the lushly bizarre AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion. The exhibit examines the simultaneous celebration of and rebellion against noble pageantry in British fashion of the last 30 years. We then saw the exhibit of works by a lesser known artist from revolutionary France, Girodet. It was all breathtaking and enjoyable stuff.
After the MET, I hung around the upper east side long enough to work on a nice tan. When plans to meet a friend up there eventually fell through, I ended up hailing a cab to take me back to 34th Street (nice tan and all, I felt like I was on the verge of heat exhaustion).
So, my cabby was on the phone when I got into the cab. I noticed that he was wearing a Muslim prayer cap; not thinking much of it, I quietly took in the cool air. Eventually, he put down his cell phone and I, my core temperature cooled down considerably, tried to strike up polite conversation with the guy (this proved to be a very bad idea, as you will see), who turned out to be very well spoken:
Me: Are you Pakistani?
Cabby: No. I'm Bangladeshi. Are you Pakistani?
Me: Yep. Parents are from Pakistan.
Cabby: I was wondering if you were from the subcontinent.
Me: I am (I was pretty much done with the conversation at this point).
Cabby (sounding apologetic because I suspect he thought I'd overheard him talking to his friend about me): That was my friend I was on the phone with a second ago. He's Pakistan but grew up in London. I was telling him about you, that a passenger who looks just like Salma Hayek just got into my cab!
(Okay, I totally cracked up at this point because 1) I don't think I look a spit like Salma Hayek. I'd be lucky if my right nostril looked like Salma Hayek's and 2) I get that "has anyone ever told you you look like Salma Hayek?" question A LOT, leaving me, my best friends, and my brothers scratching our heads in confusion).
Cabby: He's a singer!
Cabby: He's Pakistani!
Cabby: He lives in London!
Me (still giggling to myself): giggle
Cabby: you should talk to him!
Me: Oh, um, what...
Cabby (on the phone): Hey, remember that girl I told you about? Yes! She's still here and, guess what? She's Pakistani! Here, talk to her!
Me: Er, actually...(Cabby turns around and shoves Razor Moto in my hand)
Guy on Phone: Hi.
Me: Oh. Hi.
Guy on Phone: This is Saif.
Me: Oh. Hey.
Guy on Phone: What's your name?
Me: Oh. Sabila.
Guy on Phone: So you live in New York City.
Me: Oh. Um. I live around...in Jersey.
Guy on Phone: So, I'm a singer. I live in London.
Me: Oh. Wow. Great.
Guy on Phone: You should come to my concert. I'm having a concert tomorrow.
Me: Oh. Thanks. But I'm not in the UK. Ha.
Guy on Phone: No, the concert is in Queens. I'm in New York at the moment. You should try to make it tomorrow.
Me: Haha. Oh. Um. I don't think that's going to happen.
Guy on Phone: It's tomorrow. In Queens.
Me: Oh. No. Seriously. I can't make it.
Guy on Phone: Well, I'm in New York until the 6th. We should meet up.
Me: Um. Yah. That would be totally bizarre. It's not going to happen.
Guy on Phone: Oh.
Me: Yah. Sorry.
Guy on Phone: Well, it was nice talking to you...
Me: Great. Ahem. Bye.
Cabby (talking on the phone): Yes, she's great. She's beautiful on the inside and out (please, he was laying it on a bit thick. whatever).
Still on his cell phone, Cabby turns around to look at me as he stops at a red light.
Cabby: Please try to come to the concert tomorrow night. My friend would really like to meet you.
Me: Um, I have plans.
Cabby: Even if you can drop by for a little while. Tell you what! You can bring your parents! It will be nice if my friends can meet you and your family! He's a very great guy. He's handsome.
Cabby pulls up to my stop.
Cabby: Listen, I'll give you my cell phone number. You think about it. And then, please, do us the honor of coming with your family.
Me: Yah, how much is the fare?
Cabby: Here's my number. The concert is in Queens. If you need a ride, just call me and I'll send a car to pick you and your family up. It would be our honor.
Me (taking Cabby's number): Um. Great. Thanks.
Cabby: It'll be a lot of fun.
Me: Sure. How much do I owe you (reading the meter, I see that it's $8.20). I owe you $10.
Cabby: No, no. I can't take your money.
Me (digging through my ginormous bag for my wallet): No, you must.
Cabby: Please. It is unacceptable to take money from a friend. Think of this as a ride from a friend (he says this with his hand on his heart, which makes me feel bad about the fact that I will not, under any circumstances, be attending cabby's friend's shady Queens concert).
Me (unable to find my wallet in my big ass bag and not being able to stay in weirdo matchmaking cab for another second): Okay. Thanks! Khudha Hafiz!
Cabby: Khudha Hafiz!