Four Taxi Drivers On My Beijing Trip: #4 – The Quiet Man

“Where to?” It was the man at the taxi stand who asked me.

I gave the address.

He yelled out my district and waved to a man.

He came over, took my luggage, opened the door for me before he went to the trunk.

We drove off.

It is humid like two days ago but cooler.

I asked about typhoon. He said one is forming and it will rain for sure today.

The road was busy. I saw IKEA printed on a truck and remembered that I should say, “i’ like in the word “itch”, here.

I always wanted to ask someone about the difference of the license plates, some say “Taipei City”, others say “Taipei Xian”, Taipei County that is. And then, there is Taiwan Sheng, Province.

He said those are old plates. The new ones do not have any of them. It is white with black letters, just the license numbers plus two alphabets. The alphabets tell where the plates are issued.  He pointed to a few. He told me the commercial vehicles are different. They have green plates.

It drizzled. The air is cool inside the car. He turned down his intercom.

“Turn left after you pass the elementary school.”

He nodded.

“I am lucky not to be in a traffic jam today.” I said.

He smiled, his face tan and kind.

That’s all we’ve said to each other in the past 40-minutes.  The exact way I liked it to be on my way back home.


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