Sociology in Taxi

  One night, a blond girl covered her face and cried when she got into the car. I asked her where to go, and she asked me: “Where can I go? Where is the future?” It turned out that she and her boyfriend broke up that night, she couldn’t bear it, she felt hopeless. I said fiercely: “What future? The future of each of us is set, and that is the grave.” She was stunned by what I said, and sadly said: “Then there is no life. Does it make sense?” I said, “Of course it makes sense, because we have the present. Or, people who have the present have the future.”
   She kind of got it, then tipped me and got out of the car.
   Having driven taxis in Australia for many years, many passengers poured out their hearts to me. At first, I thought I must have a special charm that would be tempting to open up, until I met him.
   He was in his early twenties, dirty all over, and there was a deep melancholy on his face. I stopped when the two taxis in front whizzed past and ignored him.
   We chatted in the car. He said he had come from the country to find friends in Marrickville in the inner west. I asked, “Which way is your friend’s house? Does your friend know you’re here?” He said he didn’t know where his friend’s house was, and he didn’t know where he was coming, and he didn’t have his friend’s phone number. How can anyone come all the way to find a “three no” friend who has no address, no appointment, and no phone number? It seemed that this trip would be troublesome, but I had no choice but to drive over there first.
   At this moment, he sighed and said quietly: “I actually just want to find someone who is irrelevant to talk nonsense.”
   I have never heard of this reason. So, I immediately came to the interest. I always have a respect for people who are different.
   “My family and friends get together to talk about career and money. It’s too heavy. People need to talk nonsense, nonsense, talk to each other, and laugh hard. Then one night passes, and the next day can be A fresh man.”
   “So, I’d rather not find a friend than talk to an irrelevant person.” I finally dropped him at a small intersection. I guess he won’t find a friend, but he will be found in Sydney, far from home. A person who can talk nonsense, nonsense.
   I’ve come to realize that Australians are more willing to tell the truth with irrelevant people. Although this is counterintuitive to us Chinese, it has its reasons: on the one hand, there is no risk of revealing privacy; on the other hand, the answers obtained from strangers are the most straightforward and unscrupulous opinions.
   Another night, passing Broadway, I saw a tall, thin young man waiting on a bus stop. He was not only thin, but also weak, as if he could be blown away by the wind at any moment. When my car was about to pass him, he suddenly stretched out his hand and I braked hard to stop the car. He took two steps forward and opened the rear door. I just noticed that he was a little lame.
   He said a place name and stopped talking. After a while, he sighed. I took advantage of the situation and asked, “Is your work tiring?” He took a long sigh before saying, “I got bone cancer at a very young age. I am twenty-two years old this year, and my femur has been completely eroded. I will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow for surgery. Surgery.” I was shocked, no wonder he was a little lame. I didn’t know how to comfort him, so I said some polite nonsense, and there was really nothing I could do.
   After he got out of the car, looking at his long and thin figure dragged by the street lights, I felt sorry for him, not because of his inherent misfortune, but because of his loneliness at the moment. It is another misfortune in life to return alone at night on the eve of the operation. Does he have no friends? No relatives? Why can only spit sadness to a taxi driver who met by chance?
   This reminds me of another thing. Five or six years ago, I was cleaning a residential building in the city center. One morning, Qiao Ai, the female security guard in the building, said to me mysteriously: “Someone committed suicide by jumping off the building at four in the morning. Debbie knows that, go and see her.”
   Debbie is the property manager of the building and has a good relationship with me. Pushing the door open, Debbie sat tearfully by the window, motioned for me to sit down, and rumbled, “I killed him. He’s an Air Force officer, and we just nodded. At two o’clock in the morning, I was arguing with my boyfriend on the phone. Suddenly someone knocked on the door. I asked who it was, and he answered. He said he wanted to chat with me. , I couldn’t take care of myself.’ He said ‘I’m sorry’ and left. At four o’clock in the morning, I was still arguing with my boyfriend on the phone, and suddenly had a strong ominous premonition. A figure fell from upstairs and passed my window. I screamed into the phone…” She shuddered and had to stop, then she said, “It’s all my fault, if I opened the door and let him in, He won’t jump off the building.”
   The topic of jumping off the building ended forever when I left Debbie’s room, no one mentioned the officer again, and I still don’t know where he came from or why he went “there” . If it was in my hometown, it would definitely be a hot topic. How much of it is gossip, how much is concern and regret, it may be difficult to tell, but it will not be so silent.
   It seems that Australians seem to be lonelier than the Chinese, and they would rather talk to strangers, such as lawyers, psychiatrists or taxi drivers, than to share with relatives and friends about many things. The individual’s emphasis and persistence on independence and privacy make the relationship between family members not in the “Internet” of a “community of life”. And we Chinese, regardless of love or resentment, family members have an inescapable responsibility to each other. No matter how bad or hopeless the situation is, there is always a way out and there is always a bowl of rice to eat.
   If you say which interpersonal communication mode is better, it actually depends on each person’s personality and situation. I just don’t know if there is a more suitable relationship model between people between loneliness and excessive intimacy.