The late night taxi driver

I made it back to Shenyang in one piece. I really enjoyed my visit back to the States. Hanging out with my family. Enjoying all the amazing fattening deep fried Southern food. So much that I really didn’t want to come back.

But come back I must. My husband missed me. A little. Actually I think he just got sick of eating pizza every night. And I was really missing my massages. And dumplings.

And if I didn’t come back, I would miss out on all these amazing stories. I mean, I didn’t even make it back to the apartment before I was already laughing at this crazy life we live in China. You just can’t make this stuff up. The truth is, this blog doesn’t get updated often enough because I just don’t make myself sit down and write it out. It’s definitely NOT because I don’t have the material.

Night in Shenyang

In this case, LB was coming to pick me up at the airport because my plane didn’t land until after 11:30 at night. Which really wasn’t a big deal except the Shenyang airport is pretty small, and I wasn’t sure how many taxis would be around that late. It was not really a safety issue. It’s one really nice thing about living in this country. I can walk down the street at 11 at night and not be the least bit nervous for my safety. I actually feel much safer here than in the States, honestly.

But anyway.

LB flagged a taxi outside the gate at Riverside and told him to head to the airport. He was a little confused at first because… why would you want to go to the airport that late? There are no flights that leave that late. But LB managed to explain he was meeting me, and the driver agreed to wait and then take us back home again.

As they are riding, the driver starts asking all the usual questions. “How long have you been in China?” “Where are you from?” “Why are you here?” That sort of thing. As they are chatting, a couple of times he asked things that LB didn’t quite understand. (This whole conversation being in Chinese, of course.) Then, the driver starts clarifying. With English.

Now this is very surprising. In Shenyang, very few people can speak any English. Usually only a college age person or someone working in a hotel would know any English. Much less, a taxi driver who’s working the night shift.

But he did, which was really cool. Now, he wasn’t really spitting out whole sentences or anything, but just being able to point a conversation in the right direction helps a lot when you are trying to understand Chinese.

So anyway, they finally get to the airport which is about a half hour ride from our place. He had agreed to wait on us and to keep from having to pay a parking fee, he pulls into the far lot, away from the doors and drops LB off. They decided to swap cell numbers so they’d be able to find each other after he parked.

I’m a walking zombie after 24 hours of traveling so I’m much pretty out of it as LB meets me at the gate, grabs my bags and starts showing me to the car. He’s telling me all about this taxi driver who could speak English as we’re walking to the far lot. He was kind of excited because we’ve been hoping since we moved here to find a taxi driver we could swap numbers with and call when we needed. We don’t have a car, and sometimes it would be nice to be able to schedule someone to come pick you up if you have to go early to the airport or something. It was an extra nice perk to have one who could speak a little English too.

Then as we round the corner, I hear this man shouting, “I’m here! Here I am! Here I am!” waving his arms in air while standing in the middle of parking lot.

LB starts cracking up and I’m completely stunned.

“Yeah, that would be him.”

He looks like a kid on Christmas morning, rushing over to help with the bags. “Hello! Hello!”

I just kind of smiled and stumbled into the back seat. It’s hard to be excited about anything after 24 hours on a plane.

LB hops up front and we’re on our way.

They continue on with the chatter. He’s getting more comfortable with putting in more and more English into the conversation. I’m not really sure where he learned it though, and I just had to laugh when, as we pulled up to the toll booths, he pointed at the lane where this other car sped past us. “V – I – P lane. hmmmf. F* youuu.”

It was pretty funny.

And a little later, after a couple of tries, he also managed to put together the sentence. “You welcome to telephone me. Anytime.”

So by the time we got back to our place, we were all pretty happy with the meeting. We get out, say good-bye, and happily head on up to our apartment.

Then. As we’re on the elevator up to our floor, LB’s phone rings. It was pretty odd considering it’s about 12:30 at night at this point. He realizes it’s the taxi driver. So we start counting bags thinking we left something in the car. I don’t think so, and LB just shrugs and says, “uhh, hello?”

And even I can hear it when the phone blares…


There is truly never a dull moment in this amazing country.


4 thoughts on “The late night taxi driver

  1. It’s like 4 in the morning here in Melbourne; online trying to keep up with my chinese. LOVED reading about the cabbie & his english, gave me a big smile sitting here by myself